Childhood is about having fun and learning how to do things and about one’s world. Parents can help guide their children through many of life’s different scenarios, such as teaching children how to count, brush teeth, or interact with others. However, children can also learn many life skills and lessons by participating in sports or fitness activities.
Participating in physical activities can be important in a child’s development for several reasons (Janssen & LeBlanc, 2010). Physical activity can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and increase intellectual engagement (UMHC, n.d.). Playing sports can help children learn how to control emotions, develop patience, and engage in teamwork. All of these benefits can be gained while just having a good time!
Here are some easy steps you can think about for getting your child involved in a sport or fitness activity that he or she could enjoy.
- Consider your child’s skills and talk to your child about what activities might interest him or her.
- Consider how much time is available for your child to participate in an activity.
- Check out options with your child, and visit different activities, sports, and locations.
- Arrive early for the first practice to give your child time to feel comfortable.
- Help your child prepare for tryouts or the first sessions.
- Go over the schedule with your child.
- Speak with the coach.
- Create goals with your child.
- Assess the season afterward with your child.
The best sports for kids, and how to find the right one for your child: https://www.care.com/c/stories/3876/the-top-20-sports-for-kids/
Jennsen, I., & Leblanc, A. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved November 6, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20459784
Patino, E. (2019). How to get your child involved in sports. Retrieved November 6, 2019, from https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/child-social-situations/sports/9-steps-to-getting-your-child-involved-in-sports
University of Missouri Health Care (UMHC). (n.d.). Benefits of sports for adolescents. Retrieved November 6, 2019, from https://www.muhealth.org/conditions-treatments/pediatrics/adolescent-medicine/benefits-of-sports