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How to Encourage Children without Making Them Feel Pressured

We’ve all heard stories of how parents pushed their children to win to the point of breaking. Of course, they had good intentions – after all, what parent doesn’t want their kid to make them proud in school? However, there needs to be a balance between encouraging your children to give their best and pressuring them till they break. The question is how to strike that balance: how do you make your child participate in a sport and be the best without pressuring him?

For instance, let’s take sports; you want to enroll your son in a sport, but you don’t want him to feel pressured. First off, you want a good thing for your son, which is something to be proud of. Being part of a team will help him in more ways than one; for example, physical exercise will enhance his development.

More importantly, it’s a good way to keep him occupied instead of being on his phone. Below are things you can do to encourage your son to participate in a sport without making him feel pressured.

Control the Distractions First

The first thing to do is to control and place limitations on anything that can keep him from wanting to participate. Two of the most prominent things in that category will likely be his video game and computer. You want to place some restrictions on this time-wasting and distracting gadget, ensuring you keep them out of his room. Many boys won’t be interested in sports if they always have unrestricted access to these nonessential distractions.

Thus, as his caregiver, the burden is on you to limit how much access he has to distractions. For example, no boy wants to go out and play ball when there’s an Xbox in their room for playing games all day long.

Speak to a Male Relative

Another thing you can do is call a male figure your son looks up to, maybe an uncle or his grandfather. Reach out to them and let them individually spend time with your son; they can help him decide on a sport he enjoys. We recommend seeking the assistance of a male family member because of the indisputable psychological fact that teens cooperate the least with their mothers. If he spends time with a male relative he favors, you will make considerable progress.

Meanwhile, the activity he picks out may not be a sport; he may prefer scouting instead. Not every child is wired to be interested in an active sport or be on a team. Thus, as his mother, be flexible, understanding that other activities don’t involve competition but will challenge him.

Help Him Choose

It may happen that the private time with the male family member didn’t help with deciding what activity he liked. In that case, you don’t need to give up entirely; there’s another route you can take to help him. It would help if you created opportunities for him, like bringing him out to events and letting him see for himself. You can have the male family member you picked out to take him out to a few events.

Allow him to investigate and observe the events; perhaps something will speak to him, and he’ll decide what he wants. If his father is in the picture, he can do this; otherwise, you can ask another male family member. We often recommend a male family member because there are higher success chances than if he goes with his mother. In addition, they’ll likely be more successful than his mother in getting him to open up and explore his desires and dislikes.

Encourage Him

You need to keep an open mind and expect that he may not choose what you want for him. Whatever he chooses, whether a sport or an activity, you should encourage him and be his number 1 fan. Meanwhile, if he does choose a sport, be sure to assure him that enjoying himself is more important than winning. It would help if you encouraged him to focus more on a sport he enjoys playing rather than one he wants to win.

Every parent wants their child to stand out in whatever they do, but there is one thing they must understand. Every philosophical instructor will tell you that it isn’t about winning a game but about playing it. So he should first enjoy himself; of course, winning will be a welcome bonus. Besides, he has a higher chance of winning the sport if his heart is in it.


It’s good to want your son to be on a team and participate in a sport. It’s also good that you’re seeking ways to encourage him to be his best without putting pressure on him. The important thing is to let your son choose for himself; don’t impose your preferences on him. You may want to get the help of a male family member or family friend that he looks up to.

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