An essential aspect of positive parenting is trying to make sure that your children lead happy, healthy lives, and a big part of a happy and healthy life is regular physical activity. This is why so many parents try to encourage their little ones to give sports a try.
There are so many benefits to physical activity in children. Participating in sports can assist with general fitness, strength, stamina, and weight control, as well as helping to reduce a child’s risk of developing many health conditions later in life like diabetes and obesity.
Getting involved with sports also allows kids to develop socially, forming new friendships and possibly discovering new passions and interests that can shape their future lives. Unfortunately, a lot of kids lose interest in sports, with some studies showing that 70% give up on them by the age of 13.
So what can you do, as a parent, to get your kids engaged with sports for the long haul? Here are a few tried and true methods that have proven successful for many parents and educators.
Arguably the best method of all for getting kids interested in sports is taking them out to the backyard or to a local park and actually playing some sports together. Of course, you might not be able to carry out a full game, but you can throw a football around, play some soccer penalties, or shoot some hoops at a nearby court.
Studies show that 70% of kids give up on sports by age 13, but if you take your pre-teen to a local park and play together, you might be able to keep their motivation levels up.
Respect Their Choice
Maybe you’re a huge basketball fan and want your child to follow the same interests as you do, so you try and take them to basketball games and push them to join a basketball club. While your intentions might be noble, this method might actually push your child away from sports, rather than towards them.
It’s much better to let kids choose their own path. They might be drawn to a totally different sport, including sports you haven’t even heard of or watched before, but that’s okay. The important part is that they find something they really enjoy.
Encouragement and Positive Reinforcement
Some kids might like to try a sport but worry that they won’t be good enough or that they won’t be able to fit in with the others. This is where some parental encouragement can prove to be absolutely invaluable.
Motivate your child, tell them how much you believe in them, remind them that they can do anything they set their mind to, and focus on all of the positives in order to give them the confidence they need to give sports a try.
A good way to get kids interested in sports to begin with is to actually take them to real-life games of your favorite local teams. If your child has shown some interest in hockey, for example, visiting an actual ice rink and getting to watch a professional match might really spark their excitement for the sport.
Being in that kind of environment, surrounded by happy faces and hearing the cheer of the fans as they watch the gameplay out, can be a really encouraging experience for kids of all ages, showing them how much sports mean to people and how fun and exciting they can be.
Watch Games Together
You might not always be able to attend games in person, but you can still see plenty of action on TV or online with your kids. Spectating sports from the comfort of your own home on the weekends can be a fun bonding activity between parents and their children.
It can also be an excellent method for boosting a child’s interest in sports and making them want to play. What’s more, watching the game at home allows you to turn off the volume and actually chat with your child about their thoughts and feelings, which isn’t always possible in a noisy arena or stadium.
Join Sports Camps
Many parents choose to enroll their kids in summer camps to help them make friends, learn new skills, and form happy summer memories they can look back on in the future. If you want to trigger an interest in sports, a sports camp might be the best option.
These kinds of camps allow kids to play different sports together and see what they like best in a relaxed and positive environment, without the same commitment levels as actually joining a local team or club.
Arthur Evans is an experienced British writer, skilled in various subjects from self-development to digital marketing. He also offers his writing skills to research paper writing services UK on leading sites like college homework help. In his free time, Arthur is a fan of history documentaries and old-school sci-fi.