Make the Most of the Car Ride Home from Soccer
It happens after every game, after every practice – you get the gear together and get in the car to start the drive home. This time in the car might seem like another chore to get done, after all you do have to get home, but it’s actually a lot more than that. The car ride home is a natural time of reflection on what happened at that game or during practice, and it’s important to make the most of it.
The Internal Struggle
Kids internalise things, and they think about what’s been going on during their day. That’s the case even if they’re quiet. As parents we really see that – we know that there’s a lot going on in those little heads! After a tough day at practice or at a game, kids are going to be thinking about what happened, and the car ride home is usually the first time that they have a chance to really sit down and begin to process events.
We all have internal struggles, and it’s so easy with children to forget that theirs are just as complex as those of adults. Recognising that complexity is important for parents so that they can help kids to better understand their own path.
Talk to Your Child
During that car ride home from soccer practice or a soccer game, talk to your child. Create this time as a safe space for them to decompress or to explore what’s been happening. This time can be a treasure for you to connect and to give them support in their sport.
Here are a few guidelines to help make as much of this time as you can.
- Be positive – Don’t highlight negative aspects of their performance until after you get home.
- Listen – Allow your child to talk out their feelings.
- Let there be silence – You don’t have to talk constantly, it’s ok to let silence settle in for short periods.
- Engage – If you’re driving, then obviously you should be most focused on the road, but engage in your child actively as you go.
Make more of your drive home than just a silent rush home from the soccer field. Use this time to reconnect with your child and to explore some of the emotional ramifications of the soccer game that they just played.