Children are active learners. They need to interact with other people and the environment constantly so that their social skills, physical development, and mental health can improve. Therefore, It’s crucial for a parent to nurture their interest and promote the healthy and active lifestyle of their children by teaching them the importance of playing sports and exercising. Depending on the child’s desires, they will either choose to play team or individual sports. In order to provide you with useful advice on how to help your child develop into a healthy adult by enjoying sports, we have singled out a couple of tips for you to follow.
1. Let them decide first
First of all, you need to respect your child’s wishes and let them decide on the type of sport that they wish to practice. Typically, children will pick the sport which is most popular or which they find extremely interesting. The goal here is to help the child develop various skills so keep in mind not to enroll them in too many activities. If you enroll them in 4 or more they will perform mediocre in all of them and that can stress them out. The golden number of activities that you should allow them is 2 or 3, since this way, they will have a variety of skills to develop to a satisfactory level and it won’t overburden them.
2. Motivate them, don’t force them
Most parents tend to live vicariously through children. In most cases, overly ambitious parents force their child into a sport for which they are not skilled enough and turn something fun and enjoyable into a job-like activity which the children start despising. What’s even worse, guided by the need to satisfy their parents’ desire for achievements, the children keep on doing something even if they hate it, just because they don’t want to be seen as a disappointment. Therefore, it is paramount that the parents see to it that their children play sports which are fun for them and not the other way around. Don’t forget to praise your child no matter what score they achieve in the sport that they chose. This kind of motivation will make the child feel important and loved which is everything they need during this phase in their lives.
3. Teach them to play fair
If your child has started playing a competitive sport, it’s important for you to teach them some basic manners and the importance of sportsmanship. The main reason why you need to do this is because children don’t know what it means to be a good winner and a good loser. Studies have shown that most people who start playing sports at an early age and achieved moderate or exceptional success find it hard to stay happy throughout their adult life after retiring from playing a particular sport. Make them aware of the fact that not everything is about winning. It’s about taking part in something fun and enjoying a lovely time with your friends.
4. Team sports
Enrolling your child into a team sport can greatly benefit them. First of all, it’s great for developing healthy social relationships. They will get to interact with other children and learn how to cooperate towards a common goal. This will also benefit them in the future when they have to get jobs where exceptional people relations are valued. Interestingly, most team sports like basketball, volleyball, and football heavily depend on the peripheral vision which is important for the development of healthy 20/20 vision and decreasing the occurrence of myopia in children. If you decide to sign up your child for a team sport like soccer, make sure to buy him all the necessary high-quality gear at a soccer shop.
As we can see, it’s not that difficult to make your child interested in a sport and to keep them motivated. The best part about this is that they will always remember it and thank you for giving them the opportunity to grow by playing sports.
If you are struggling to keep your kids active and make sure they get enough exercise, you might want to consider looking for some local events. These not only provide physical fitness for the kids, but can be more enjoyable as well.
Runs and Races
This is a really popular event that you can get your kids or your entire family involved in. There are many themed runs, like a Thanksgiving Trot that is usually a 5K or runs for charity. Some runs are just a mile or a 5k, while there are slightly longer ones like 10ks. Then there are half marathons for the kids that are really into physical fitness. The great thing about these local runs is that they often donate proceeds to a charity or other worthy cause, so you are teaching your kids about philanthropy while also making sure they are getting enough exercise. It can also be a fun way to spend some time together as a family.
Farmer’s Markets and Street Fairs
Another collection of local events that could be good for getting your kids outside and more physically active is events like street fairs or farmer’s markets. This will vary based on where you live and what the population is. Some cities and towns will have a weekly farmer’s market in the morning on the weekend, which is great because the kids aren’t in school and you can bring them for some extra exercise. If it is close enough to your home, walk to the farmer’s market, then spend some time walking around the market as well. Plus, this is the perfect time to focus on their nutrition as well by stocking up on fresh produce from local farms.
Get Involved in Parades
You also might want to check out the parades in town. Instead of just watching the parades, see if you can get your kids involved in them. They will be doing a lot of walking for the parade, plus leading up to it when their group needs to practice for the parade. This is also something they can do if they are involved in a sport or other activity with their school. It is another fun way to get more physical activity, be involved in the community, and have great family time.
Start keeping up with local events so that you can get your kids more involved with them.
Our world today revolves around the latest technology in the form of smartphones, tablets, and video game systems. Big name companies compete to bring us the latest and greatest technology and it not only has an effect on adults but children as well.
Children today are growing up in a completely different world than it was 20 years ago. There are first graders with cell phones, teens who would rather text than talk, and video games with such lifelike graphics it’s scary. The lure of these video games is especially strong in children and teens and brings with it the problem of little or no outside activity in this age group. As parents, it’s important to know how to get your children involved in something other than staring at a TV screen or holding a game controller all day long.
Create a routine – A daily routine can help your child get rid of bad habits and instill some discipline in the whole family. Talk to your child about getting on a schedule and let them be involved in creating a routine that works for all of you. Limit the amount of time your child is in front of the television, on the Internet, or on his/her cell phone and stick to it. Make a trip to the park or a walk outside part of your daily routine. If it’s too cold outside, play a game of tag or hide and seek just to get yourself and your child moving. Small daily steps can help to break some bad habits and lead you into a new way of life.
Be the example – Parents can set a great example for their children if they are active in their daily routine. If your child sees you exercising or spending more time outside than in front of the television they will most likely follow your example as they grow older. It may take a little bit of nudging to get them to put the cell phone down but it will happen. Likewise, if you are a couch potato, or have your nose stuck in the computer all day they will be more apt to follow in your footsteps. Be the person that you would want your child to be. If you keep that in mind, it won’t be hard to set good habits in motion for the whole family.
Find activities your child will enjoy – This can be anything from organized sports at school to a daily trip to the local gym. Talk to your child about getting involved in school activities that will keep them moving. If he/she isn’t much of a sports fanatic there are a ton of other ways to keep them active. Swimming, or simply blasting some music and dancing around the living room are great ways to keep in shape and have fun while doing it.
It may take some time to establish a routine that works for you and your family but don’t give up. Make small changes on a daily basis to get your child used to any form of daily activity. Pretty soon, a trip to the park or playing ball outside will be the new normal instead of coming home to play video games or surf the Internet. Making small daily changes not only forms better habits in your child but in your whole family.
If you want to raise healthy kids, it often starts with limiting certain things so that they are encouraged to play outside and be more active. This includes reducing their screen time. Here are some reasons why you should consider doing this.
Kids Are More Active
The less time your kids spend on their computers, playing video games, or watching TV, the more time they spend being active and finding outdoor adventures to go on. The problem with encouraging exercise in kids is that they feel like they don’t have enough time when you consider school, homework, dinner, and their TV time. However, if you start reducing screen time, they have those extra slots of time to do other things. It might not be easy in the beginning, so having the entire family reduce screen time is easier on the kids because you are all doing it together.
There Are Less Distractions
You will also notice that there aren’t as many distractions when everyone in the home is spending more time together or on other activities, and less on computers and cell phones. If you find that when you are all at the dinner table, an adult, teen, or child is distracted by their phone or tablet, it is a good sign that there are distractions getting in the way of regular conversation. This is a good reason to cut back.
You Get More Family Time
Along these same lines is the fact that you will have more time together as a family. Instead of letting everyone go off and do their own thing during the evenings or over the weekend, take away the electronics and do more family activities. This might be going for a walk, taking a drive to the beach, or enjoying an indoor game or crossword puzzle. You can have one game night every week or get some games and toys to enjoy in your backyard.
They Find Other Interests
When your kids aren’t spending their free time playing the Playstation or watching movies, they will start exploring other activities. You aren’t punishing them by taking everything away, but just limiting computer and TV time. This lets them play with more of their toys, find things to do outside, or maybe even making new friends in the neighborhood. This is never a bad thing! You might even buy them some new activities to make it a little easier to ditch all the electronics.
All parents come to a point when their kids have to start school. In that respect, the biggest fear and problem parents may face is getting their children to actually enjoy their road to knowledge. It would be best to foster love towards studying and new information even before the kids get to the school age. With some simple yet effective nudging, it just may turn out that you won’t have to worry about your kids succeeding in school at all because they will be all ready to commit to it on their own.
Spark their interests
Of course, you should spend time with your kids as much as possible, especially outside as nothing can beat the child’s curiosity towards the natural world. Therefore, take them for a walk and let them explore the world around them. Undoubtedly, they will ask some questions and taking the trouble to tell them everything they want to know will surely spark up their interest in gaining new knowledge. Try to explain to your kids that you learned all this at school, as this will actually encourage their love for school and studying in general.
Experiment a lot
Most kids find science and math to be the most difficult subjects in school. What’s more, they often find them boring. In that respect, some cool science experiments and logic games that you present as fun could have a significant influence on their opinion. There are numerous age-appropriate kids’ science projects that you can find online, thus showing them the fun side of the most difficult school subjects.
Fun with letters and words
Getting your kids to enjoy the written word can sometimes turn out to be more difficult than expected. This doesn’t mean that kids won’t learn how to read and write at school, but it is always helpful to instill a love for books as soon as possible. You don’t have to force your kids to practice writing and reading at home, but you can read them interesting books that they will find fascinating. Depending on their age, different alphabet games can be introduced as well. As they get pulled into the world of stories, you can encourage them to try reading on their own.
Help the kids open up
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the school is spending a lot of time with your peers and making friends. If you notice that your kids are generally shy towards others, visiting playgrounds and organizing play dates could be very beneficial. Schools and kindergartens are great places for socializing, but you have to keep in mind that kids will spend most of their time learning. Because of that, a lot of parents find signing up their kids for after school tutoring quite helpful. Not only will these activities help the kids learn more about the things they’re interested in, but they will also get the opportunity to share their interests and knowledge with their peers without the usual pressure of the classroom environment.
Nurture their creativity
No child will be able to enjoy school if they are constantly reprimanded about their own interests. Some kids might prefer subjects that allow them to express themselves creatively. In that respect, try not to limit their interests even if you believe that they need to spend the same amount of time on other subjects. Instead, proposing extracurricular activities that deal with their topic of interest could actually relieve the stress that kids may feel from trying to balance their hobby and proper studying. Also, it will show that you value their efforts and choices, which will indirectly boost their general performance at school.
Everyone is allowed to make mistakes. Therefore, if it happens that your child has trouble with certain subjects, there’s no need to get angry. Nothing can be accomplished by yelling. Fear is one thing that has to be avoided if you want your child to love school. Instead, make sure to always use positive encouragement so that your child can willingly try harder for their own sake.
About the author: Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”
Earth Day is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to engage the kids with science and sensory activities themed around the environment. If you are looking for ways to take a hands-on approach to learning with your children, you are going to love these 24 Earth Day Science and Sensory Activities. These are perfect for kids a variety of ages. There is no better way to learn than by experimenting and these ideas are going to offer the kids an experience that is almost out of this world!
Hey, I’m Toni and I’m the mama of 3 Little Birds. I love Writing about Parenting, Health, Recipes and Crafts, the life of a Mum and more. Learn more about me here Grab a Tea or Coffee and come see what you find.