You and your ex-spouse both want to support your children, but the problem is that what you think is safe and what he believes is safe are two different things. You don’t want your child to play contact sports. As a pediatrician, you’ve seen young children with horrible concussions and injuries from contact sports.
Your ex-spouse believes that the emotional benefits of playing sports are massive and important for your children. As an ex-football player, he believes that it’s perfectly safe as long as the coach and school are cautious.
What should you do? This is a time to negotiate
As co-parents, you know that you will need to negotiate with one another. This is one instance where you may want to talk about the middle ground. For instance, you do know that sports can be healthy and beneficial to your children, but you don’t want them to be involved in full-contact sports. One possible compromise would be to suggest flag football or a competitive sport like swimming, which are both less likely to result in contact.
Another thing that you may want to do is to ask your children. If they are old enough to know what they want to play, ask them their preference out of a few different sports and show them examples of the sports in action. You may be surprised that one child is totally fine with more contact, while another wants to be more independent and involved in a no-contact sport. Their preferences can play a role, especially once you rule out certain sports and decide on the sports you’d be happy with them playing.
Negotiating is part of being a parent. If you and your ex-spouse can’t agree, you may want to look into other methods of resolving the conflict.