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turq93t

4 Year Old Son Won't Wear Mouthpiece

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What a way to start a season. We decided today to get my sons mouthpiece all set up and ready for the first game of the season. Only problem is that he won't cooperate with me in getting it set up for his mouth. He is only four, but still, I wouldn't think it should be so hard. He coughs and carries on like it is choking him. Any suggestions on how I can get him to accept the fact that he has to wear a mouthpiece? The flag football league requires it. Oh and on top of this issue, I am the coach of the team, and it is starting to look like my child won't even get to play.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The season starts tomorrow at 12:00.

Thanks

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What a way to start a season. We decided today to get my sons mouthpiece all set up and ready for the first game of the season. Only problem is that he won't cooperate with me in getting it set up for his mouth. He is only four, but still, I wouldn't think it should be so hard. He coughs and carries on like it is choking him. Any suggestions on how I can get him to accept the fact that he has to wear a mouthpiece? The flag football league requires it. Oh and on top of this issue, I am the coach of the team, and it is starting to look like my child won't even get to play.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The season starts tomorrow at 12:00.

Thanks

A few tips that could possibly help?

1. If he likes football, show him pics of players on his favorite team wearing mouth-pieces.

2. Get him a "cool" mouthpiece. Something different like a black one or a red one.

Our league does not require it, and I'd say maybe five percent of them wear one (and while I know he probably should--my son does not wear one). I might end up getting him one for when he plays defense (he is our QB and is barely in a scrum on offense).

One funny story. A few seasons ago before our first gamea parent was helping put flags on our players. One of the players saw another player who had a mouth-piece and asked "Are we supposed to have mouth-pieces? The parent (who is a big military-type guy, great guy though) said "Nah...you don't need any mouth-pieces". I simply said "It's up to your parents...if you want to wear them you can". Well, that first game...guess what happened? That parent's son got busted in the chops. He had a mouth-piece at our next practice. Ha!

Good luck, I'd imagine if you have to sit him out for not wearing a mouth-piece, he'll change his mind.

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Did you get the right size? Sounds like you might have gotten one of the ones that won't let him close his mouth even? I would look at getting the smallest one you can find, some of them are freaking huge, the cheaper smaller ones work best that fit around the teeth without anything hanging out the front etc. Where the molars are, trip that back big time...it may be causing a gag reflex.

This may sound kind of trailer park, but get some of the candy spray at a store (let him pick the flavor) and spray it on and keep it handy.

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Don't listen to these guys, he's 4, tell him to "man up" or he's off the team!! Or? Show him pictures of kids without their front teeth and tell him those are kids who didn't wear their mouthpieces.

On a more practical note, when you find a mouthpiece that is comfortable, try and get him to wear it at home during the week a little bit each day. That way he's used to it come game time. Could make a game of it somehow, if he can keep his mouthpiece in for X amount of time he gets a prize. Maybe you get a mouthpiece and have a contest with him to see who can say certain words. Could do that on the team also. Have all the kids put their mouthpieces in and give out a piece of candy for everyone if the team can repeat after you some goofy cheer. Peer pressure type thing. I know all this sounds goofy, but think in terms of how you'd get him (or any 4 yr old) to do something else (besides the wearing the mouthpiece) he doesn't want to do.

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4... If you were to talk with me in person, I'd go off on a rant about how kids should not be playing any kinds of organized sports until they are at least 5. And flag football, probably not until they are 6 or 7. So this may sound harsh but you get no sympathy from me for any problems you incur. No mouthpiece = no play. Good luck explaining that to him.

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Mouthpieces are mandatory in our legue (5-7 flag), I havent really heard of any problems besides kids gagging on them so I would do what the previous posters said and check the size. It could be the right size but formed wrong so cutting a little off the back might help out.

Might want to start from scratch and buy a new one, after boiling it drop it in juice or gatorade before putting it the kids mouth, maybe the flavor might counteract any fears they have about putting something that was in boiling water a second ago in their mouth, it might form better.

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Thanks for the tips guys. It appears we have overcome the mouthpiece issue. Yes I had bought the youth size, several of them actually. Just this morning I cut it down a little bit more, helped him understand better how to put it in and take it out and all appears to be well. We will see come practice/game time. Last two games he didn't play because he wouldn't wear it, hopefully today he will and will get to have some fun with his team.

MVP -if you want to send me a private message about why kids 4 and 5 shouldn't play flag football that is fine. I have followed a lot of your threads and value your opinion. From what I can tell so far, the kids are learning a little bit about football and having a lot of fun. There is a very small amount of contact, and that is only when they get tangled up trying to pull a flag, and I have only seen that a couple times.

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if you want to send me a private message about why kids 4 and 5 shouldn't play flag football that is fine. I have followed a lot of your threads and value your opinion. From what I can tell so far, the kids are learning a little bit about football and having a lot of fun. There is a very small amount of contact, and that is only when they get tangled up trying to pull a flag, and I have only seen that a couple times.

I see nothing wrong with 4-5 year olds playing football, in fact I encourage it. Our league has 4-5, and quite often when my son and I get to the fields early we'll stop and watch them play (as it can be pretty funny at times). Aside from some of the overzealous parents (wow!) I think it's incredibly healthy for kids that age to play organized sports. It gets them excercise, teaches them discipline, the concept of teamwork, etc., etc. Glad to see you got the mouthpiece drama worked out. Good luck this season!

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