I’m sure that we all agree that exposing our children to new environments and experiences is critical to their development. My kids, for example, love going to the zoo and seeing the animals there. But there is one type of excursion that I tend to keep them away from, that is a zoo unto itself: public sporting events.
I have taken them to a few baseball games as well as a college gymnastics event (that one wasn’t bad), but that is about the extent of their introduction to real-world public & professional sports. And I will probably keep it to just that. Of course, to go down the stereotyped path, I have 3 girls and other than animals, dance or performances, they don’t seem to have any interest in football, baseball, or basketball. And I don’t blame them, when looking at it from their perspective.
So, I have decided that I won’t take them to any of these professional sporting events, and here’s why.
Last night, I attended the first professional football game of my life (the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers & yes, I survived the 2 blackouts). I have attended many college football games (my dad and I were season ticket holders for Stanford football when I was a child). And, I have been to quite a few baseball games and a couple basketball games. But never professional football.
The list that I have below represents mainly my experience from baseball games.
I’m sure that there are benefits to taking your kids (probably boys) to these types of public events, so be sure to leave a comment on what those benefits might be.
The peanut allergy one for me is pretty significant. I went to one baseball game with my daughter and while most of the parents and people around us were very supportive of not having peanuts, there was this one fat, [expletive] who sat behind us with a hat full of peanuts, stuffing his face, snorting and grunting as he brushed the shells off of his fat stomach in our direction. While his girlfriend/wife was really good about keeping the peanut shells away, the guy was quite a piece of work and pretty much stressed me, my daughter and the family we were with out so much that it ruined the experience for us.
I know that many of these events and venues have “family sections” especially for baseball, but that label is extremely loose, in my opinion. For now, we will just watch these types of events from afar, namely from the comfort of our own home.
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