I love working with kids from different backgrounds and walks of life, but if it is a category I really feel like I was doing the right thing for was that of children who come from broken homes. Such a disruptive event in a kid’s life has such a tremendous impact that it is difficult to help these children, regardless of the position you are in as an adult, be it caregiver, psychologist, trainer, teacher and so on. I love how enthusiastic kids are when I am getting them involved in competitive events, but I honestly think that the ones that have something really important to gain from getting involved in a sport are those who had the misfortune of witnessing their parents divorcing.
They find a venue to channel their anger
Kids react in different ways when their parents are getting a divorce. It depends on their age, the way the divorce happened, if they had to face their parents arguing or worse, and on many other factors that psychologists and other specialists always have to take into account when they are counseling these kids. I have met quite a few children from broken homes in my life, and what I noticed in some of them is that they have a lot of unexpressed anger. Giving them an opportunity to vent off their anger helped them become calmer and more in touch with their inner selves. Also, practicing a sport offered them a frame in which they could express themselves while following a clear set of rules, and this really helped them.
It is a way for them to win back their power
Powerlessness is something often experienced by kids with separated or divorced parents. They feel like the situation is completely out of their area of control, and they do not know what to do. Practicing in order to achieve excellence in a sport of their choosing helps them regain this power. When they are on the field with me, training to become better, they take back their power, and they feel much better as a result. I have noticed some of the kids I trained feeling more confident and much more in control, as they continued to practice.
Overcoming shyness is a big thing
While some tend to become violent and often get into fights, others become extremely shy. They are afraid their caregivers will leave them and fear of abandonment is the biggest fear for children. Even those who used to be outgoing and sure of themselves become overly shy, since they are afraid a single wrong move or word will cause the remaining parent to abandon them. I have trained with many kids who were really shy because they were too scared to step out of their cocoon of safety. I taught them how to hit the ball, how to develop a team spirit and talk to the other kids, and how to train and push themselves, and I received the great reward of seeing them opening up and shedding off some of their shyness.
A healthy routine is created
Practicing a sport offers these kids a great option. Sports have rules, training must be followed based on a clear schedule, and kids find it easy to get into this routine. The fact that they know what to expect gives them security and they feel safe. This way, a healthy routine is created and they reap real benefits from practicing a sport. That is why I love working with these kids, because seeing them becoming more confident in their own powers, smiling and feeling better is a true reward that nothing else can replace.