Why You Should Never Pressure Your Boy Into Being Someone Else

When was the last time you’ve witnessed a father making fun of his boy for not liking to play a team sport? Yesterday? The day before that? Why is that a boy not wanting to throw a ball around is considered such a tragedy, a reason to be mocked and insulted?


Some people consider competitive team sports to be the holy grail of manhood. You are not a real man if you don’t appreciate loud crowds, aggressive mates and trash talking. It builds character, they say. It prepares you for life. And if you don’t like it, you should make an effort, or else.

Or else what? Will these boys be failures? Will they be demoted from manhood?

The most likely reason for which your boy does not enjoy team sports is that he is an introvert.

He understands the benefits of being a part of team or having physical activities, but he prefers others. Your boy needs his privacy and being with a lot people for long periods of time is stressful for him. He probably prefers a quiet game with a friend or reading a book. He doesn’t care about being the strongest, the loudest or the fastest boy in school. Your boy cares about playing or listening to music or going on a long walk to discover a new kind of bug. These activities can also teach them about perseverance, discipline and collaboration.

Because we, as a society, value extroversion more than introversion, we tend to pressure boys into sports that center around aggression, force and competitiveness. But this is not a real solution for those with different skills: empathy, diplomacy, or creativity. By not acknowledging his particular abilities, you make him feel insecure, broken, not enough.

Don’t worry about their team spirit. They can develop that while playing in a band or by participating on a science fair. Don’t worry about them not exercising enough. They can do that while building a bird house in the courtyard.

So there’s no need to pressure them into something they obviously don’t enjoy. What they need is to feel understood, supported and protected by their parents. Please share this!