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Category: Relationships / Topics: Character, Integrity Family Financial Hopes & Dreams Relationships

Family Squabbles, Part 2

by Dan Seagren

Posted: November 5, 2017

Expectations and exploitation…

The word exploitation can have a double meaning: development or victimization. But sometimes it both can be subtle or conspicuous. We now look at the previous family (Family Squabbles, Part 1, from last week) three years later with a Mom, Dad, Big Sis and Lil' bro who is now a Freshman in High School. Big Sis is a Senior.

When Time Magazine (9/4/2017) devotes ten pages to Kid Sport, Inc., perhaps we should take notice. In short, Professional kids sports is a $15 billion dollar industry beginning with professional four-year olds and featuring a ten-year old who plays for several pro teams. Yes, there are young exceptional athletes, well-to-do parents who can easily pay for training, travel, housing, equipment, fees and incidentals and those who either cannot or will not.

Some spend freely for youngsters hoping for a lucrative college sports scholarship against huge odds. Others push their little ones who would rather do something else. And there are youngsters who, weary of it all, can't quit. It is an expensive and growing venture, while some adult sports are diminishing professionally.

The previous Dad is somewhat oblivious to the youth pro movement but learns in a hurry when his Freshman son is nominated by his coach for a tryout. It is an attractive, appealing, but costly venture. Lil' bro was excited while Dad was fearful of the side effects: costs, travel, missed school days and possible failure as well as his limited almost Paycheck to Paycheck income. Now Senior Big Sis has lofty thoughts of attending an expensive prestigious school after graduation like some of her well-to-do schoolmates.

Dealing with the options for both of his children was delicate, especially for a Father who had successfully controlled his compulsive temper. Although there was time to make decisions, there was the danger of falling deeply into debt. What would their friends think if the answer was no? How would his wife respond? What about that nine-year old five-star player portrayed in tournaments in three different states whose parents now utilize GoFundMe – if he should pass or fail? The risks and temptations may just be incompatible companions for many.

Is Exploitation the most appropriate word for today's Professional Child Athletes? How would you (or have you) dealt with similar situations for your own children or grandchildren?

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: November 5, 2017   Accessed 513 times

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