Physical activities can have a big part in children’s growth and development. Experts believe that involving kids in sports and other physical activities do not only help children obtain the obvious health benefits of a 60-minute daily exercise but also improve social skills and other essential life lessons. That said, more and more parents agree that sports are definitely more than just a game to play.
At the age of 6 and 7, most kids start to have physical and mental traits that are necessary for entering a sports program. For starters, they show interests in recreational activities like catching a ball, swinging a bat or splashing waters in the pool.
Once they grow these kinds of interests, it will be easier for parents to introduce their children to the idea of a real sports competition. BUT! Choosing the right sports for your kids can be as easy as not choosing at all. Here’s what to do instead:
Handball the decisions to your kids.
The first step in choosing the right sport is to let the kids pick what they want. Do not push your kids into an activity that scares them. Not every child can show interest in sports easily. Since they are not born to know all the existing sports to choose from, that is where parents can help. Introduce them to a whole range of games to help them find an interest in sports and figure out what fits them best.
For early ages, you can offer them less-competitive activities to avoid getting intimidated by well-seasoned players. Once they get the hang of these recreational activities, it’s time to teach them what they need to learn in a physical field. Parents can easily tell whether or not a child is interested in a certain game. Regardless of the choice, you have to support your kids all the way to make them feel more involved in the decision-making process and be confident about their choices.
Identify their personal interests.
Before you sign up for a sports program, it is important to know what your kids are good at and what activities they enjoy the most. After introducing your kids to an array of sports, let them try a few different games so that they can get a sense of what they are good at.
Describe their physical traits.
If you think your child does not have the best hand-eye coordination and stroke movement, you may keep those Spalding balls and personalised swim caps for the meantime because your child might want to try sports dance or martial arts instead of basketball and swimming. Physical characteristics such as height and body types may have a big impact on which sport fits them right; however, it does not mean your child won’t enjoy a sport that does not seem to fit their physical characteristics and strengths.
Kids tend to change their minds and switch sports a few times, but that’s okay. It may take some time for children to finally find the right sport they fit in. Instead of forcing them to stick with their first choice, let the kids explore a few sports for at least a period or two before quitting. Whilst children are still figuring things out, it’s good for parents to consider the cost of equipment, fees and uniforms because you might get stuck with these items that may never get used again.
Know when to stop.
Parents need to know the difference between a child who doesn’t like a particular sport or a child who just hates being physically and socially active. Because not all kids are meant to enjoy playing around other kids, you cannot force your child to do something that they do not find interesting. The best thing to do is to help them find another way to be active where they can stick with.