Encouraging Sports In Kids
I have two boys! They are very active boys. They also keep me active as a mom, trying to keep up with them. I'm ok with that however because I do see the importance of allowing our kids to lead active lifestyles.
The major thing I have observed from having a medical background as a pharmacist is that we don't really teach families the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles.
We also don't help families to realize that, if we incorporate these changes from such an early age, we will not have to worry about obesity or any health-related concerns in our kids.
So I highly recommend teaching and encouraging your kids on how to have and live healthy, active lifestyles in the form of being a part of a sports program that can help to foster this needed approach to living a healthy lifestyle.
We have to therefore be advocates for the change we want to see, starting with our kids.
Are you also helping your kids to live healthy, active lifestyles? If so let me know how you do so? Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!
1. ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BEGINS WITH US
As parents, we want to be role models for our children. Sometimes we don't realize it but kids see and learn from the way we are as parents. As such we have to also be willing to lead active lifestyles ourselves so that our kids can model the behavior that we want them to incorporate.
In our household, for example, we have always tried to get our kids to be comfortable with going outside and playing around, just to get comfortable with being active outdoors and engaging with nature. We also encourage them to go for bike rides, or even sometimes just playing any activity that involves movement.
For more ideas about activities that you can do to encourage movement visit my blog post on:
Playing sports not only benefits your kids physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Kids who are active in sports are more likely to perform better in school as well. They are also able to rest better, eat better and so much more.
If you haven't already seen the benefits of teaching your child to incorporate a good healthy, active lifestyle then now is the time to do so.
We are all familiar with the popular saying that "teamwork, makes the dream work"! Well engaging in sports will help children learn the importance of working together with others in a mutually beneficial environment.
Children who also learn how to work effectively in teams will also learn skills that will be beneficial all the way up to adulthood.
Teamwork can also help develop leadership abilities in kids from a young age. Therefore it's important to help get kids involved in any team-building activities, especially in sports.
When kids play sports with other kids, it facilitates their ability to make a decision that is not only centered on themselves but also on others. They get to learn and develop these vital skills that are needed as they develop right up to adulthood.
Also, they get to develop listening skills that will help them to also become good listeners as they move into adulthood.
So yes, engaging in sports is really important for kids not only on a physical level but also developmentally as well.
3. MENTAL WELL-BEING
When kids engage in sports, it also benefits their mental well-being. Kids who play sports are more likely to thrive better in their environment and are less likely to be stressed or anxious about life.
Mental clarity and awareness of their surroundings and environment are also evident in kids who play sports.
"Well, how do I know this, you may ask?" Remember, (as I relate from having a science background) an active lifestyle allows more oxygen to flow through our bodies.
Oxygen is needed to help us to function better in our everyday lives. That also affects our brain and the ability to also be more focused in our thinking.
So yes, for kids, engaging in sports will also help them to become more focused and productive in their school environment.
4. PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
When kids engage in sports, it also helps them to maintain good physical well-being from an early age. This also encourages active lifestyles up to adulthood.
Many of us as adults are always conscious about our body image and as such, we should also expect the same for our kids as they get older, even starting at the beginning of their teenage years.
If as parents, we emphasize the importance of being healthy and exercising, by remaining active in sports or other activities, we are also teaching our kids how to maintain a healthy lifestyle from the start.
When they get to the teen years, we don't have to worry about self-image or being bullied in school for anything centered around weight, or body image.
In other words, teaching healthy ways to help our bodies to be healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle is key, especially in kids.
4. EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
I vividly remember those sporadic meltdowns my kids would have when they had to start preschool or even join a Sunday school class or any group-related activities with other kids. I had that "temper tantrum" child who clearly showed me that they were not joining that teacher or playing with that group of kids to no avail.
So kids do have emotional attachments to familiar grown-ups or siblings that when they have to interact with others outside their familiar environment, it makes it difficult for them to cope.
When you start encouraging kids to play sports, especially with other children from an earlier time in their life, these incidences of emotional outburst is reduced.
Once my kids, for example, were encouraged to be a part of these groups, the emotional meltdowns disappeared and they are more willing to be a part of any group or activity that involves other kids easily.
5. CHARACTER BUILDING
We want our kids to be the best versions of themselves. We want them to be role models for society in adulthood. One of the ways to build character in our kids is through sports.
When kids engage in playing sports, they are also learning to be accepting of others, their strengths, weakness, or abilities that may be different from theirs.
The toughest thing for some kids is also managing the feeling of disappointment or feelings of failure when they didn't think that they performed optimally, or win a game against another team. Many times kids will react differently based on what they have been taught about winning.
When playing sports, especially in a competitive environment, kids are also learning how to manage the emotions that they will feel at times when they do win, compared to the times that they may have lost.
Learning both distinctions will help them to develop a more positive mindset around winning and losing, which will also build character for a long time.
Overall, I do hope that you found the tips in this article helpful and that you will find ways to encourage your kids about being involved in sports.
I also am aware of the economic status of some families that are not also able to afford these sporting activities for their children. However, there are programs available with scholarships for families who might be struggling financially.
An example of such an organization that offers scholarships is the YMCA. They will award families with scholarships based on their income level for FREE or reduced as it fits their budget. You can check their programs out by visiting your local YMCA, or online to find out more information.
Other places that may offer more affordable sports programs are churches, local city programs, or even at the school level. There are so many resources available for families that can be found by just doing research on what's available in your local communities.
For more related blog posts about activities for kids, visit:
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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