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Should I Keep My Child from Participating in a Sports Activity if His or Her Schoolwork is Suffering?

Youth sports can be very important to the development of a child. They teach skills and build character traits that will be useful throughout a child’s school years and well beyond. However, youth sports should never trump academics. School has to come first.

So, what do you do if your child’s academic performance is not meeting your expectations and he has a game coming up? Your natural inclination might be to keep your child home as punishment for letting his grades slip, but there are a few things to consider before you decide what to do.

In most cases, your child is involved in a team sport. That means other people are relying on your child’s participation. If you don’t let your child play the game, his teammates will likely be demoralized. In reality, you’ll be punishing them for your child’s academic problems.

School problems typically stem from a student’s poor time management - that's the skill you should teach your child to use. So, instead of keeping your child out of a game, set up strict and specific study times. If that means he has to come home directly from practice, shower, eat and then immediately go study, rather than spending an hour texting or playing video games, then so be it.

Also, encourage your child by letting him know that it’s possible to get good grades and participate in sports. It may take extra study time and hard work, but your child will be able to benefit both from improving his grades and reaping the benefits of participating in youth sports.

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