Sports and other physical activities are great for children – it keeps them healthy, teaches them valuable skills, and helps them form new friendships. Naturally, every parent wants to encourage their child to fall in love with sports – a task that is sometimes easier said than done.
Encouraging a new passion or hobby requires a delicate balance. Parents must be careful not to push too hard, lest they risk their kids turning around and forming negative associations. Here are some tricks to help encourage kids to become more interested in sports.
Led By Example
One of the best ways to encourage children to enjoy sports is to lead by example. If kids see their parents (or other adults they look up to) enjoying an activity, they are more likely to consider joining in as well.
It comes back around to the parenting style of leading by example instead of the phrase “do as I say.” One is always going to be more effective than the other. So role models need to join a gym, participate in sports, or any other activity they want to encourage a younger generation.
Go With the Flow
When it comes to encouraging a kid to pick up sports, the child must have a say in the matter. Are they more interested in one sport over the other? Great! Now it’s time to encourage that, as opposed to letting parental opinions take control.
While it’s tempting to share a hobby/sport one loves, it’s imperative to allow children to pick out their passions. Ignoring this advice and a kid’s opinions is a recipe for heartbreak down the line.
Buy Sports Gear
Many parents share their passion by buying items for their children. Those who want to encourage their children to enjoy sports start buying them sports goods and gear. Did they show an interest in soccer? Buy them the supplies needed to start playing and learning the sport.
Don’t Push Too Hard
As mentioned above, it is critical for parents and role models not to push the subject of sports too hard. Any effort that crosses the line runs the risk of backfiring, resulting in children that actively hate sports thanks to their negative experiences in the matter.
Pushing too hard can also apply to sports children enjoy, so it’s important to be careful here. Don’t sign a kid up for an overwhelming number of activities or practices. Recall how much commitment can go into a single sport, and consider the ramifications of pushing a second one on a child.