$10 says your mother-in-law is a control freak. Am I right? Nothing against your wife (my MIL is one, too) but it's a simple example of daughters becoming their mothers. Don't take it personally.
With regard to "pushing your son into sports"... I'd continue taking him to the games and saying that he can just sit and watch if he wants, but since daddy had committed to being an assistant coach, I have a responsibility to be there. If you have at least 3-4 more games left in the season, I've got another $10 says your boy asks if he can get back in and play...all it will take is seeing how much fun the other kids are having without him.
Let me know how it goes.
I don't believe in pushing kids to do anything extra caricular. My plan is to try many things, give them all 3 three tries and if he still hates something after going three times, he will not have to do it.
You'll be sorry if you push. Your boy may not like team sports, might be a golfer. Whatever, pushing your child to follow the herd so your WIFE feels better is the wrong way to go. It will ruin your relationship with your children forever.
Good luck to us all.
I'm wondering, what is it about soccer that your son doesn't like?..I think that it is important to find the "root" of what he doesn't like, and think about if this will lead to more conflicts in the future. I think that if we look closely at situations..our kids can give us clues as to possible conflicts that may develop in the future. We must always remember to keep our eyes open. For example, if your son doesn't like the fact that he doesn't get to score goals, while other kids get to score 2 and 3 goals..this may possibly lead to a bigger problem in the future, and can offer up an opportunity to talk with him about the importance of team work, and that everyone has their role, and needs to focus on performing to the best of their ability in what ever role that they were given. I think it is possible to gain something from every situation.
It may not be the soccer, but some of the kids on the team. We've already had to work with our 3yo son on how to respond to the teasing and aggressiveness from a couple of bullies-in-training in his playschool class. One boy and one girl (the girl is the WORST) are notorious for taking away toys, pushing and hitting, saying mean things, etc. The boy was a scratcher and hitter; I don't want to sound like we encourage violence, but we finally told our son that he was bigger than the other boy and to knock him down the next time he hit or scratched our son. Problem solved. The girl, though, she is vicious; "you're bad, ugly, stupid" etc. AND hitting. We had to coach our son on how to respond verbally to her, and it's improved somewhat. One of the other girls finally knocked her on her little behind a few times.
your son doesn't hate sports just soccer from the sounds of it. couple of other sports for ya ... football, baseball, tenis, bowling, golf, racket ball, etc. etc. etc.
From my own experience, pushing your son into sports will only make him oppose it more. Exposing him to new things is important of course, but I would think having a mom who believes he is a "pansy" will be more detrimental to his well-being than whether he can play soccer or not. My son was exposed to all kinds of sports, gave it a shot, but team sports just are not his thing. He is now 11 years old and an aspiring musician. You never know what niche your son will fall into, but exposing him, rather than forcing him, into different experiences in life is your job, not berating him. He will thank you for it one day.
I would say, it depends. If your son was the one who wanted to try soccer then you tell him he has to stick it out for the season then he doesn't have to do it again. Sounds to me though like he wasn't the one saying he wanted to play.
By the time he is six he should have some activity, but he can help choose it, he'll likely enjoy it and want to go.
Just wanted to remind you that not all sports involve a ball.
Personally, I suck at and mostly hate all ball-related sports. But I am very good at wrestling, rock climbing, mountain biking, and motorcycle racing. All (in my opinion) much more manly than any ball-sport.
Offer him some other types of sports and see what he likes.
Pushing a kid is not good, encouraging and exposing them to new things in an appropiate way is great. Before taking your son to try and and play soccor, how much exposure did he recieve at home to the sport. One thing we like to encourage dads to do is instead of introducing their kids to something new in an unknown enviroment, start off at home. Let them watch what ever sport you are interested in them becoming involved in on tv or by a video game a couple of times. Get out in the front yard, and slowly teach the principals of the sport to them there, just you and them. Start off basic, we are talking about a 4 year old. Don't rush into soccor philosophy 101 with them. Just get out in the front yard and kick a ball back and forth. Another good way to do this, is invite one of your friends over, go outside and start playing soccor without involving him at first. Make sure he is in a place he will notice you having a good time with a friend kicking a ball around. Natural curiosity will bring him outisde to see what is so fun about kicking a ball around. Let him come to you with interest, and you are making him choose to get involved, rather than telling or asking him to.
Once he has shown interest, if it stays then great, build on it. Start showing him the basics of what makes up the sport. Basic rules and what the objective is. After these steps, spend a couple weekends playing soccor or whatever sport is being encouraged. See if he is catching on, ENCOURAGE him by letting him know you are proud of how well he is doing. Likewise, if he just doesn't show the interest, move on. Find something that naturally interests him and build off that. Not every kid is a sports fanatic. That doesn't mean it is ok to never pick up a football, but don't expect him to want to do it every afternoon. My son went through 4 activities from baseball, to soccor, to football, and then Taekwondo before he found what really grabbed his attention. He didn't sign into every sport officially, but time was spent seeing how he responding to the sport in the backyard, and when he showed interest, we went for it. I did keep him in baseball for the entire season after he commitedto wanting to join, and 5 games into it decided he didn't want to do it. He wasn't "forced", but he was given a life lesson, that if you start something that other people are dependant on you finishing it, you sometimes have to tough it out and just do it. On a side note, that year his team won the championship, which I thought was going to respark his interest, but it didn't, and I was ok with that.