In this morning’s instalment of Listener Dilemma, Bianca, Mike and Bob chat to Brisbane parents and teachers about how they feel about allowing kids to play extracurricular sport if it will interfere with their schooling and responsibilities.

Teacher Alex says “We know that when young people get involved in things that they’re really passionate about, everything else in their lives improves. And clearly, she’s not feeling particularly excited about what else is going on in her life at the moment, and that’s why she’s got this attitude and doesn’t want to get up in the morning.

If you give her something that she is passionate about that she can hook her teeth into that actually gives her some purpose, then what you’ll see is a real improvement in every other aspect of her life. We know that extracurricular does that for kids.”

Sandy says she should be rewarded with doing what she wants to do on the condition that she keeps her grades up, gets up on time for school and keeps her room tidy. 

“Teach her that you have to do these things as well to be able to do that. As adults we can’t have all the fun and not go to work.”

Mum Sally has found that picking your battles is very important. “I’ve got two boys that have specials needs. One is fantastic at school and the other one really struggles, but he excels on the sports field and with the other things that he does outside of school…If it’s a case of him going to school and spending the whole day at school in his classes, then the cleanness of the room doesn’t matter. So I find picking the battles on what is really important…So with him, I focus on the activities outside of school.”


David thinks she should definitely play. “We live in Australia, so all kids play sport. Also, I think being fifteen, there’s worse things out there she could be doing and if you don’t let her play AFL she might even rebel and go back the other way,” he says.

Teacher Michael thinks it should be equal between taking responsibility for the things she has to do, like schoolwork and chores, in order to get to do what she wants to do – play AFL outside of school.

So, The Great Debate results are in! 80% agree that kids should play sport.

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