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Baddreamer27's avatar

Is my son too young for organized hobbies?

Asked by Baddreamer27 (705points) January 14th, 2011

I want to get my three year old into organized soccer, or perhaps some kind of dance class. He is very active and I think it would help him in the long run, but not sure what to start him in…He loves to wrestle. Do they have karate for three year olds?

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18 Answers

janbb's avatar

You can try any of them and see how he reacts. If it makes him unhappy, stop. One thing I would shy away from is any sport or activity that has a competitive factor to it; three is too young for anything but fun and socialization. Soccer might be just the ticket since it is mainly “clump” soccer at that age.

Baddreamer27's avatar

I like soccer as an introductory sport…and I think he would love the running and kicking the ball. My son is very hands on and I don’t want to encourage any real physical contact with other children. I thought some type of martial arts because even though it is physical I would want him to learn discipline and restraint along with it. @bkcunningham those boys are too cute and I loved that video

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perspicacious's avatar

Dance class—great. Organized sports not until second or third grade.

YARNLADY's avatar

I took my son to Mom and Me classes from the age of a few weeks, graduated to Gym n Me at a year or two, and went on to a succession of age appropriate classes from then on; such as YMCA baby swim, kindergym, and T-Ball.

He was the youngest student ever admitted to the San Diego School of Baseball at age 6, and the youngest dancer (age 5) in the Kalifornia Kids Square Dance Troupe, which performed at the Sea World Pavillion. He later performed in the Nutcracker with the Sacramento Ballet Company. He played Little League Baseball for 16 years.

A couple of other 5 year olds tried out for the Kalifornia Kids Square Dance Troupe, but they dropped out after a few classes because they couldn’t understand the instructions.

Be sure you put him in age appropriate classes. Yes, you can find them, if you look around.

Taciturnu's avatar

My brother owns a karate school, and he does take kids aged 2+.

I think it’s a matter of whether or not your child is ready for it and if he is interested in the “hobby.” If nothing can hold your child’s attention span for more than 5 minutes, it’s probably not a good idea because it will end up being a source of stress for him and you. Try building off of his interests. If he dances with Dora, dance might be more fun. If he wants to be a superhero, karate could be more his thing. The discipline karate teaches is an awesome asset, anyway.

As @YARNLADY mentioned, make sure any class you choose is age appropriate, since it will reduce the frustrations.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Baddreamer27 Children do not learn discipline from doing martial arts. As my master instructor says: “Children who like what we do here and want to continue on with it may become disciplined, as that is an integral part of studying martial arts and a prerequisite for advancement. But I cannot teach them how to be disciplined.” Without parental support, no teacher can, with only a few hours a week, change a child’s disposition. One needs more time and more authority to do such a thing.

Most children don’t learn much in the way of actual martial arts until they are teenagers, either. They’re getting exercise, learning some very basic techniques, and forming an excellent groundwork for future study. If they are interested, they will learn restraint. That is something that can be practiced. But if they are not interested, they won’t be allowed in the class long enough to learn it.

This is not to discourage you from enrolling your child in a martial arts class, but only to help you have realistic expectations. There is a nine year old who studies the same style as I do, and he is very focused. He’s one of the only youth students who has advanced more than once in the ranks. But this is a feature of his personal disposition, and not something he was taught in class. Doing martial arts has made him more disciplined, but no one has taught him discipline.

I realize this might seem like I am splitting hairs, and I do not mean to be disagreeing with @Taciturnu. But I have seen a few parents become disgruntled over how exactly discipline emerges out of practicing martial arts.

YARNLADY's avatar

My 20 month old grandson loves to dance. His mother and I try to encourage this by dancing when he dances.

blueiiznh's avatar

You certainly can start that young. Organized anything will help them get a head start. You might have a hard time finding an organized rec league for 3 yr olds, but if you have one, go for it. There is swimming levels, dance, gymnastics, art/drawing classes, music lessons, library childrens hour, and many many others. Even just the structure of a child looking forward to a certain day/time to do something is helpful.

klutzaroo's avatar

My friend’s 4 year old did soccer this year. She loved it. Sure, it was mostly running around in circles, but it was a group activity that let her get energy out. Soccer for teenytinys is more about running around than actually competing. Sounds like something your little guy would like.

Aethelwine's avatar

Three is a great age to get children involved with these activities. I got my daughter involved in dance and tumbling at that age, then ice skating when she turned four. She loved them all! She didn’t attend pre-school, so this was a great way for her to interact with other children her age.

Your son may enjoy tumbling. It’s great exercise for young children. A good place to look for these classes is at your local park district. Many park districts offer these classes at an affordable price. They also arrange the classes by age level.

YARNLADY's avatar

We once had a parent who enrolled her son in Little League T-Ball and then complained because her son did not want to attend the practices or follow the rules of baseball. Make sure your child is mature enough to participate in the activity you choose for him.

Baddreamer27's avatar

@YARNLADY that is what Im afraid of! But they have a great program on base for 3–5 year olds to get them started. Its called “Smart Start” and its parent involved. Basically you and your child participate together, just to kind of give them the hang of the sport. Its great time alone with him and he enjoys it. We did a few practices of basketball and impressed the coach because Jack already knew how to dribble and pass/catch the ball.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Baddreamer27 That sounds good. We went to Kindergym, a program at the local YMCA, and it was very good for the preschoolers.

mrrich724's avatar

If he loves to wrestle, it may be difficult to find, but there are wrestling programs (real wrestling, not WWF bullcaca)

If he starts now he’ll be such a stud in highschool, and can even go collegiate. He can get a full scholarship if he keeps it up!

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