Young children are very impressionable and curious, making them more willing to try new things. This impressionable stage is where lots of children develop their passions, their hobbies and their interests which have a huge impact later in life.
At a young age, parents have a certain level of influence over their child, what they do and when they do it. Today we’re going to look at how you can encourage a sporting hobby for your child and why you should keep it in mind for the future.
Between the ages of one and five, children undergo drastic physical changes whilst they explore and learn more about the world. As a parent, it’s our job to serve as a safe base for this exploration. We are the omnipresent support that our children use when they’re tired of exploring and want to return to familiarity but that doesn’t mean we can’t help our children in other ways.
Sport is obviously quite physically intensive and through developing a hobby for your child, it’s easy for a parent to help their child gain better strength, balance and agility that can be transferred to everyday life. This is especially true for slightly more clumsy children where a safe and constructive environment is essential for them to practice balance and awareness,
Whilst sport for kids is great at developing physical abilities and strength, many people underestimate its power to grow social skills too. Most sporting events for children are held in groups, whether they be training sessions, introductory classes or other activities. This means that your child will likely be part of a team or at least surrounded by other children, forcing them to practice empathy, understanding and team play.
Even though a sports setting is competitive and objective focused, the act of speaking and engaging with other children (and other adults) is hugely beneficial for a young child. In fact, for particularly young children, some parent-child sports sessions can also help with learning speech. There are quite a lot of communication-based advantages to encouraging sports for your child.
Self-Confidence, Ambition and Self-Development
Sports encourages a desire to improve oneself and to perform better. This ambition for self-development and growth is absolutely invaluable both in education and throughout life. Similarly, if your child is performing well on the sports field, they will receive positive reinforcement from their coach and from you, their parents. This is great for improving self-confidence, further assisting the social skills that we mentioned before.
Being active and staying fit is a big part of any healthy, balanced lifestyle and sport is an easy way of instilling this in your child. If your little one is playing sports throughout their school career, it shows
that they can maintain their passions and talents despite being busy for most of the day, increasing their likelihood to continue playing in their adult life.
As a minimum, being physically fit and athletic breeds a desire to stay in good shape. Therefore, even if your child drops their sport later in life, they’re likely to go to the gym or take up some other physical activity that keeps them healthy. For a more scientific look at habits and how to change them, you can click here.
So How Do We Get Started?
Whilst this whole post has been about the advantages of sport for kids, it hasn’t detailed how to get them started.
For an easy entry point, consider a sports party (click here for more information on these). They’re simple, they’re easy and they will give your child a taste of many different sports, allowing them to pick out a favourite.
For a more structured approach, research at community centres and local clubs, then see which sport fits into your schedule. Most clubs host free taster sessions for young applicants, so bring your child along once and see if they take to it.
That’s all there is to it! Hopefully this will help you locate and encourage your child to get involved in sports young, just be sure not to pressure them into doing something they don’t enjoy.