In Singapore today it is easy for kids to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle earlier in life, with the increase of indoor entertainment and computer gaming. How do you maintain a sporty lifestyle among your kids and yourselves?
If your kids are enrolled in a sport, parents could take on a supportive role to cheer them on and help them stay motivated.
You can do so by helping your child to focus on the element of play in any sports activity they pick up.
Don't burden them with competition, keeping score, and rules, and should your child wish to explore more extreme sports, parents may want to find in in them to let go and let your child grow!
And don’t be afraid of injuries – for kids learn best when they sustain a few falls and cuts. Of course, do educate them on safety rules for safe play too.
Parents will need to be aware of what your child could achieve at different age groups -- physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Don't make unrealistic expectations concerning your child's sports performance for it may result in stress instead.
As kids grow older, many also lose their passion for sports because they feel they can't live up to their parents' or coaches' expectations, or when “winning” takes focus to the “fun”.
Parents can help by offering encouraging words for all their efforts, and continue to embark on recreational sports within the family members.
Your child may love the idea of a sport but if they do not sense that their parents are supportive of it, they may drop out halfway.
Help them by sharing about interesting things you've learned about the sport to show that you are also interested in what they do!
When your child is learning a sport their purpose may be narrow-focused, such as simply to do the same thing as their best friend, or to join the most popular sport in school to gain popularity. However, you can help them develop a genuine appreciation for the sport by giving them materials that inform, educate and inspire them further.
For example, if your child is interested in golf, let them watch videos of famous golfers around the world and bring them to actual golf tournaments to get them truly in love with their sport. If you read an intriguing article or watched an educational program, tell your kids about it.
Finally the important step is to know when to back off and simply give your kids their space to grow. While parents can play a crucial role in starting off your kids’ sporting passion, you need to know when to back off and not pressure your kids into truly loving the sport at the end of the day. Parents should not “do” the activity for your kids – let them figure it out themselves so they can grow and gain a sense of competence.
It may seem a tough balance to find between motivating your kids and knowing when to let go. But remember that kids learn best when they are able to act on their natural curiosity about the world.
Parents can help by focusing on the process, not the outcome. The key is to keep communication alive and encourage your kids to do what they enjoy -- if not in school, then with friends or in the family.
This article is sponsored by BETADINE®.
®: BETADINE is a Registered Trademark.
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