Is your child approaching the age of participating in youth sports? Participation in youth sports whether community or school sponsored, can have positive lifelong effects on a child. Youth sports on any level can put a strain on family schedules and parent-child relationships.
The benefits of youth sports are numerous. Children can build self confidence, increase their self esteem and maintain health and fitness by participating. Comradely and team work are skills child can use regardless of whatever they chose to do in life.
It behooves parents to introduce their children to new and exciting things, such as sports. After the introduction the parent must be mindful or determining if the child really enjoys the activity or are they the driving force behind the participation. It is a fine line that a parent must consider if they recognize their child’s potential in an area, but the child has little or no interest to develop the skill. Just make sure that you are not encouraging the child’s participation for totally selfish reasons.
If you have a young child, youth sports provide and opportunity for you to participate with your son or daughter. You can be a volunteer coach or team mom and support your child’s participation and achievements. I believe it is important to not over-book a young child. They still need the opportunity for free play and enjoyment with friends. As a parent you do not want the busyness of your child’s schedule to interfere in personal relationship building. Many parents unexpectedly fall into this trap.
When a child is active in community or school sports programs, pressure is put on the family schedule and routine. Quality time at dinner and on weekends can easily be lost. Make it a point to–make time for each other. If you have an older son or daughter you must monitor their health, by encouraging good eating and sleeping habits. Your school age child will have academic responsibilities that they must continue in. Also rest is a vital part of growth and development for a young athlete and should not be overlooked.
The main point to drive home is the activity is about the kids, not you as parents. Support your child and encourage their natural abilities and talents. If they are a budding star the drive will be their and evident in their attitude towards participation.
I hope these opinions on youth sports participation will help you and your family make an informed decision on what part they plan in your families lives.