Dad Finds It ‘Extremely Difficult’ To Connect With His Kids Because Of Their Sports — ‘Weekends Are No Longer For Worship Or Family’

"I can't catch a break."

group of boys playing soccer Fotokostic / Shutterstock

Sports have always been an important part of kids’ lives. In recent years, however, they seem to be taking more of a priority over other activities. 

One man pointed out the struggle of balancing his kids’ sports activities with other parts of their lives, and many parents agreed with him.

A dad finds the new concept of sports being an everyday thing difficult to deal with.

Former professional football player, television personality, and father Akbar Gbajabiamila recently took to TikTok to complain about the new state of kids’ sports.


“As a parent, I’m finding it extremely difficult to connect with my kids because of their sports obligation,” he said. “It seems like it’s getting out of hand, like, and you’re talking to a former athlete. I get it.”



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Gbajabiamila lamented the loss of free time for children. “Especially for young kids now, it seems like Saturdays [and] Sundays are no longer safe,” he said. “Now, it’s every single day is fair play and the expectation that, yeah, you gotta be there — forget family vacation, forget family bonding.” 

Gbajabiamila recounted a recent experience that reminded him of this. “I had a situation last weekend where, uh, my wife was out of town. I thought, oh, let me take the kids out, and I took them out to a movie,” he said. “I forgot my daughter had a 6:00 practice on a Sunday.”

Gbajabiamila said that there is no time left to connect with your children if they are involved in sports. He said, “Like, no weekend feels like you can connect, and if they’re not tired from practice, they’re trying to play catch up with their homework. Am I the only one going through this?”

He pleaded, on behalf of all parents, to be given the time they need with their kids. “This is like, I don’t know, as a parent, like, can we just get a break?” he asked. “Can we just spend some time with our kids? … Like, can we let Sunday be a time for worship and for family? Just a suggestion.”


Dad Finds It Hard To Connect With His Kids Because Of Their SportsPhoto: RDNE Stock project / Pexels

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It’s true that kids’ sports are getting more intense.

While there are many studies and much evidence supporting the fact that sports are beneficial for young people and their mental health, that isn’t accurate for every kid participating.


Dr. Ashwin L. Rao, University of Washington Athletics’ team doctor, told Everyday Health, “There is a big debate about youth sports specialization and professionalization, where adolescent and younger athletes are asked to practice and play in a manner similar to professionals.”



Additionally, Everyday Health pointed out, “Experts believe that the challenges of elite and high-level competition sports, in particular, can play a role in causing or worsening depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among young adults and even adolescents.”

Sports are meant to be a fun pastime for children. Unfortunately, they have turned into something much darker. Instead of just playing for fun or the love of the game, kids are now pushed into hyper-competitive situations and expected to perform beyond their limits for the good of the team.


TikTok commenters overwhelmingly agreed with Gbajabiamila.

Other TikTok users were very supportive of Gbajabiamila’s position on the issue. 

“All of that just for it to all come to an end after [high school] for 99% of the kids,” one person pointed out somberly.

“My kids were doing AAU, rec leagues, and school teams for three different sports,” another user said. “Once COVID hit and we could spend time together, we never went back to that crazy schedule. Just played for their school.”

Dad Finds It Hard To Connect With His Kids Because Of Their SportsPhoto: RDNE Stock project / Pexels


Sports are great for kids to be involved in. However, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate priorities for different families. 

After all, sports are supposed to be fun!

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.