I’m a recovering sports fan. Yes, I still watch the occasional game, but find myself cooking, writing, tweeting, posting… doing SOMETHING, while the game is on. I can’t help it anymore. I feel a pull toward other things, even if it’s laundry. Remember that great random football game back in 2007? No, me neither (yes I remember some games sure, but compared to the hours I spent watching… not so much).
Imagine if we taught our kids to ROOT for things like The Environment! Equality! Organic Food! Clean Energy! Local Economy! Empathy! Sustainability!
I’m no different. I’ve taught my kids to like certain sports, certain teams (even though I’m a Giant fan in Patriot nation, which has led to a split in cheering sections). But just this weekend, my daughter said, as we munched on some lunch, “if we’re just gonna sit here and eat, can’t we watch some football?”
Very cute, yes. But all I could think was that’s on me. I made her say that. I made it seem important, and now she deems it so. Granted, the kids of The Green Dad know more about GMOs than most employees at Monsanto, so I can’t complain, but it really hit me.
We TEACH our kids all this stuff. Cheering at a hockey game! Screaming for a homerun! Getting in a fight over who wins. Yup… that’s learned behavior. We learned it. We pass it on.
Well, we can also TEACH the good stuff. Kids are smart, and they want to please us. Doesn’t matter if it’s cheering for a DUNK or saying ‘GMOs are bad’… they are looking to make us proud. Except the DUNK doesn’t add up to a hill of sh*t, and eating right may very well save their lives. Big difference no?
Sports is entertainment, I get it. The drama of a game can indeed be like a film or play, and yes we learn things about life through sport, uh huh… yup… get it. But we’ve gone sports crazy. There used to be people who liked sports, and now you’re supposed to like sports no matter, or you may be the oddball.
Play sports outside with your friends, awesome! Get exercise, great! Coach your kids, excellent! Sit and watch 67 baseball games during a season? Um…. No.
We can teach our kids to be into reality just like we teach them about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and The Super Bowl. Can I say Super Bowl? Super Bowl!!
My daughter also joined the ‘Green Team’ at her new 7th Grade school, so there’s a balance I know, some football, some recycling, some soccer, some gardening… but again that’s on us to make this balance. It’s for them afterall.
So don’t be afraid to TEACH. Take any moment to talk to your kids, any age, about the important things. Explain how THEY are a part of it. Explain how YOU are a part of it. They will get it! Organic vs Conventional food. Non-toxic cleaning products. Why local food is good. Why clean water is important. Why compassion for fellow man is essential.
Games are fun. Games are great. But we need to balance these fun things with important information.
400,000 people showed up for the Peoples Climate March in NYC, and were joined by 161 other countries, truly amazing! We need to cheer for that! We need to share those pictures with our kids! That is a TOUCHDOWN! If you tell your kids these stories they will believe and understand them, just like out sports tales.
Sure, I’d rather just watch the game and hope for the best, but I’m beyond that. If my kids spend more time in life cheering for teams than rooting for the environment, that’s on me.
2,4,6,8 Who Do We Appreciate? Earth! Earth! Earth!