Kids Playing Sports
No doubt about it, getting your kids playing sports is a great way to teach valuable life lessons. Through playing sports, kids develop skills in leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, and diligence. On top of that playing sports is a fun way to get plenty of exercise that the growing body needs.
Choosing a Sport
The best way to choose a sport for your child is to ask him what he'd like to be involved in. Many parents tend to get their kids involved in sports that they themselves enjoy. While this is fine and even has many benefits, if your child simply has no interest in said sport, it's best to pass and let your child make the final decision.
How Young Is Too Young?
The key question is not really whether or not the child is too young but whether or not the activities are age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. This will vary both from child to child and from sport to sport. When your child is very young, look into programs that are fun and build gross motor skills.
Finding a Sport
There are a variety of places to look to get your kids playing sports. The first, and perhaps best place to look is your local parks and recreation department. In addition to hosting town leagues, the parks and rec department typically has information on local opportunities. You can also check your local Y.
Parenting From the Sidelines
One of the hardest parts about watching your kids playing sports is to keep your parenting, or rather coaching, to a minimum on the sidelines. Remember to let coaches and referees do their jobs by keeping criticism quiet. In fact, it's the perfect opportunity to show your child good sportsmanship.
At the forefront of every parent's mind is the fear that their child will be seriously hurt by playing a sport. No sport is 100% safe all of the time-there is inherent risk in everything. However, you can minimize injury by making sure your child has proper equipment that fits him as it should. Also, make sure that your child has enough water and is properly trained before advancing to a more difficult level of play. Taking these precautions will minimize the risk of injury.
Enjoying Sports as a Family
Afternoon sporting events can be a great family activity. Kids enjoy playing sports best when their parents are there to cheer them on and offer unconditional support. Parents can even use sports as a means to teach other valuable life skills. Looking for more parenting strategies? Check out 10 Parenting Tips for ideas on better parenting.