As a parent, you know that is it your responsibility to keep your kids healthy and to teach them healthy habits from a young age. Washing your hands before dinner, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, eating your greens instead of eating cookies, etc. You know the kind of healthy recommendations parents give to their children. But there’s one more than you should add to the list, and it’s keeping an active lifestyle. Modern technology and work have created a primarily sedentary civilization. People don’t move enough during the day and, in fact, office jobs are linked to early death and serious diseases due to their lack of movement. That’s why it’s important that you help your child to embrace a sports type: Developing a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age means that they’re more likely to stick to it in adulthood. There’s another great thing about sports for kids. Sports help children to uncover their potential and to address emotional and personal issues that would have been left unaddressed otherwise.
#1. Everyone is different
If you think about it, each kid is different. Some are outgoing and exuberant; others are shy and cautious. As parents, we naturally accept that not all children are born the same and that they have different tastes and interests. The same argument is valid when you’re picking a sports activity with your child. It is normal to expect that some children will prefer team sports while others will thrive in the peacefulness of a solitary activity. Your role, as a parent, is not to force a choice, but to help your child experiment until you find something that fits. Don’t think that just because you used to love gymnastics when you were young that your child would too. Help them to explore possibilities but never force them into a direction.
#2. Baseball for the team-player with a good eye
For kids who love to socialize and be part of a community, there’s nothing better than joining a team. Baseball is one of the favorite activities for social kids, especially because they can get to try several positions in the game before they decide on what they do best. There’s no other team game that offers such a diversity of skills on the same field! More importantly, you can encourage your kids and practice with them over the weekend. And for Christmas, you can surprise them with a quality baseball glove or bat depending on their position in the game – if you’re looking for ideas, see this review on Axe bats to learn more about bat quality. Kids who play baseball tend to be good team-players and to learn to work collaboratively with others; these are great skills in adulthood!
#3. Gymnastic for the flexible kid with great balance
For kids who are flexible and are strong on their legs, gymnastics offers a fantastic way to develop strength, coordination, and balance. It can take weeks and months to master a split to perfection, so as a parent you need to encourage your kids all the way through. Dedication and discipline are at the core of gymnastic, and they make your child a better-balanced person. Additionally, gymnastics provides great advantages for their development: As it’s a spatial activity, it improves spatial awareness and understanding of geometry. Mental toughness is another lesson that can help your child in life.
#4. Horse riding for the knowledgeable, caring vet expert
How about you’ve got a child who loves animals? Horse riding is a great way for them to discover more about animals and to learn to care for another living being. In fact, young riders learn how to prep their horse and keep it clean, which encourages responsibility and respect. Additionally, children, discover how to bond with an animal and to build a trust relationship as they guide their horse. Mental alertness may not seem like a direct benefit, but riders are better at taking quick decisions and avoiding obstacles – on the road and in their everyday job. They can act fast and efficiently.
#5. Martial arts to help your kids socialize
For kids who are difficult and lack attention or discipline, martial arts offer the perfect way of channeling all that unused energy! In fact, martial arts teach children to respect each other and to improve their concentration levels. To improve their moves, they need to stay focused and train hard, while always working with the strength and agility of their opponent. While it’s not a team game, it’s a great tool of socialization that can significantly improve their everyday behavior. If you’re struggling with imposing respect rules at home, you can be sure that martial arts will be a great support with this! From karate to kung fu, there are plenty of great martial arts classes that are available for children as young as 6-year-old. So why not give it a go?
#6. Swimming for the solitary kid who needs a direction
Some kids never feel as comfortable as when they are in their own company. It’s fine; you don’t need to force them to socialize if they don’t feel confident about it. But you can help them to find a passion and develop their strength and focus, such as swimming. Swimming is especially good for solitary kids, as it’s a great way of relaxing – the presence of water is calming. More importantly, swimming helps to improve the mood and combat stress and anxiety, which may be the underlying cause for your child’s lack of socialized behavior. As they become emotionally stronger and balanced, they may trust themselves to interact with other children and to build a social circle – if it’s not at school, then it could be in the swimming class! And of course, swimming is one of those few sports that train the entire body, from flexibility to stamina via lung health. In other words, with swimming, your child finds a smooth way to mental and physical health.
Don’t hesitate to introduce your child to a variety of activities. It’s a matter of finding what sticks to their personality and their expectations. For children, finding a sports hobby is the best way to stay strong in their body and their mind.
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Julian Ivey-Caldwell founded GetConnectDAD with one simple goal: Connect more families to their kids. Julian works a day job and spends his evenings (after the family retires) continuing to grow this platform. Because he travels a great deal for his “day job,” he is intensely focused on trying to find better ways for fathers and mothers who work long hours, different hours, or unusual hours find better ways to be engaged.