It can seem next to impossible to get your kid out of the house these days. Between video games, streaming services, and mobile devices, kids are never more than 10 feet away from something that would rather keep them at home. Getting out of the house is good for their health, though — it gives them the chance to play sports and learn valuable life lessons. Here are some tips to make that happen.
Emphasize That It’s Fun
It seems like simple logic, but it’s worth repeating: Kids won’t play sports if they don’t enjoy it. It has to be fun. If it’s not fun, they’ll spend their time doing something else.
And if they do play Kids Sports, they’re likely to play only the game that’s most enjoyable to them. So, make sure that whatever sport you’re playing, it’s fun for kids. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy it, they might.
Get Them Started Young
You know you’re supposed to start them young, but which age is best? Ideally, children should play organized sports at a young age. It’s essential to teach them the fundamentals of the game and make sure they have a good foundation before they take on more complex plays or strategies.
It’s also recommended, though, to start any kids before they’re old enough to train on their own. Then, their parents are in charge of all the instructions, first steps, etc.
Get them involved as soon as possible.
Give Them a Choice
It’s important to let kids — especially young ones — pick what sport they want to play. Sometimes, it can feel like we don’t have a lot of options either, but it’s good that kids feel like they have an active role in the sport they’re playing. If they don’t want to play, they can’t just sit around.
Also, just by forcing them to pick something to do, you’re teaching them the value of hard work and discipline. Giving them a choice gives you the power to choose, but it also helps them make their own decisions.
Have an Open Mind and an Open Heart
Sometimes, our preferences get in the way of letting kids play sports. You might love soccer, but your child may hate it. You might think basketball is boring, but your child thinks it’s the best sport ever. It’s hard sometimes to get behind our kids’ decisions, but sometimes you have to because they’re the ones playing.
Also, remember that pushing your own interests on kids can be harmful. For example, making them play a sport they hate will not do any good, and it will not make them have a better time.
Teach the Importance of Sportsmanship
Sometimes, in sports, you lose. That’s a harsh lesson for kids to learn. You have to teach them that losing is okay and that it’s not the end of the world. It’s essential, though, to teach them good sportsmanship and respect simultaneously.
It’s a good lesson that carries over into everyday life and can help them in their relationships with other people. Teaching kids to lose with grace will make them more likable adults down the line.
Be Friendly and Supportive
Kids often have a hard time being social, but playing sports are a great way to get them out there. Encourage them to make friends with other kids in their league. Be patient and encouraging when they play, and teach them to be welcoming and friendly.
Don’t just talk the talk, though. You have to walk the walk too. So, if your child is playing nicely, encourage that behavior and model it yourself if you can.