While the benefits of sports for our children are immeasurable and include so many factors that go beyond simple fitness, such as improving their alertness and sense of working in a team; it’s important not to go overkill on your child’s extracurricular activities. Getting the family together, study time, play time, and making sure your child’s growing body gets the full recovery it needs after each active session are all vital to healthy development.
But just like all the other pressures in life, from work commitments to birthday parties to gatherings with friends, it can sometimes feel impossible to balance enrichment activities with family life. So be an advocate for whichever sport your child decides to choose, but keep in mind that family matters too.
Limit your kids’ after school activities – While we all know that a sensible range of extracurricular activities is healthy for any child, especially sporting ones, for learning about commitment, staying healthy and developing social skills; if you let your children sign up for every team going, all that will happen is that they end up feeling exhausted – and so do you – from chauffeuring them around from place to place.
It also detracts from quality family time, so ensure that extra curricular activities are scheduled in moderation. For the activities you agree on, make sure that your child always wears the right equipment to decrease his or her chances of injury and use orthotic arch supports inside their footwear to prevent injuries such as tendonitis and shin splints.
Don’t project your desires and abilities on your children – You may have been track champion at school, love playing tennis, or swim butterfly like a pro, but that doesn’t mean that your child will. Make sure they practice the sports that they really enjoy doing and are good at, not the ones they’re doing because you want them to.
Encourage sibling harmony – It’s important to help your children get along together and to encourage sibling harmony in the home. The way your kids act at home will reflect on how they behave on the pitch, so a good relationship with their brothers and sisters is key. Better yet, if they can practice the same sports together, you may find that they both become interested in the same game, which will limit the amount of time spent in the car for all of you.
Put family first – Sports are vital, but family comes first. Don’t let competitions, leagues and football practice come before family. You can do all you can to let them know that you support their sports choices; from buying the fashionable sneakers they really want (as long as they’re comfortable and have powerstep insoles) to standing pitchside and cheering them on; just remember that family matters most.
Guest post by Michael Peggs, the founder of content marketing agency and SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.