Dear Football Mom,
What do you do when your son wants to stop playing football for good? He says he is done with it. He has played since he was nine. This year he really stood out on his high school freshman team and did do quite well on both defense and offense. The sting in our hearts is that he plays no other sport, and his dad is a huge fan of football and played in college. My husband is beside himself, trying to teach his son how to be a man. We are fearing the worst. I think you know what sort of lifestyle he may be choosing. Help? Where did we go wrong?
I am assuming you love your son unconditionally or you wouldn’t have written such a personal, heartfelt letter to me. That love for your son will take y’all a long way. I am not qualified to answer this very sensitive question, but here is my take.
Even though we love football dearly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not playing the game. Forcing a child to play a sport—no matter what sport—will do more harm than good, but especially in football. You can strongly suggest and encourage playing an organized sport, but to make a kid play, in my opinion, is just wrong.
Before jumping to conclusions about your son’s lifestyle choice, I would suggest taking a deeper look into any whispers, rumors, or perhaps past records of his coaches, from the assistants up to the head coach or beyond for any promiscuous behavior allegations. I hate to bring this to your attention, but the way things are these days, you just never know. Look how long it took for the Jerry Sandusky’s of the world to come to light, which was a tragedy all the way around. Something may have happened you would never dream of that turned your son off to football. Goodness, I certainly hope not.
Also, nothing wrong with seeking professional help for your husband and his relationship with your son. I usually suggest some sort of family Christian counselling, but most importantly, wherever you feel most comfortable. They can help in ways you’ve never thought of. And if your son chooses an alternative lifestyle, love him through it, fiercely.