There will inevitably come a time in every parent’s life where their child will become interested in team sports, the great outdoors or other sports such as swimming!
Friends and social activities are an integral part of being a parent as well as being a kid or a teenager.
Here’s our top ten things you can practice ensuring your child sticks with their sporting goals and helps you maintain the ‘best mum or dad in the world’ status.
Let’s take a look!
- Support their coach
While it may not be convenient for some parents to attend sports training or other extra supportive activities for the child’s sporting events, you should always try to find some time to help out every now and then.
Event and training days can be run much more efficiently if the coaching staff have extra available hands. Calm and collected coaches will have more time and patience to spend on the kids ultimately aiding their overall success.
- Accept the losses
Unfortunately, drawing the short straw or receiving the rougher end of the stick is part of life. No matter how ‘good’ your child may be at a particular skill set, there will be times where they won’t always be the winner.
Accepting the fact that your child may lose and explaining that it’s also okay to lose, is a critical part in developing good sportsmanship.
- Allow them to be a kid
With kids growing up so quick these days, it’s easy to blink and wonder where the time went! It’s crucial that in modern-day life you allow your kid to be just that – a kid.
Allow them to build relationships and discover how to treat others, learning the consequences along the way.
Wrapping your kid up in cotton wool can sometimes be detrimental to who they become later on. A top tip is to try not to be so restrictive with who they play with, their playground activities or contact sports.
- Reward them with your time
Kids want your time. There are many ways to reward your child for their achievements but what makes them truly happy is your presence. Your unique characteristics and the way you play with them is what they really cherish.
Since time is the most important thing, spend it wisely and make sure you create those unforgettable memories they’ll hold onto throughout their lives and sporting careers!
- Don’t reward them with junk food
Junk food can be a killer! – at least in the long run.
Too much of anything is a bad thing. However, moderation in snack foods and other tasty rewards is fine as long as you don’t make it regular enough so that your child expects it frequently.
- Accept slow progress rates
As you probably know by now, we all learn differently, including kids.
Understand that slower progress and weaker competing efforts shouldn’t be recognised as failure.
Allow your children to compete at their own pace and never force them into a competition unless their 100% comfortable with the difficulty level and challenges.
- Equally encourage school commitment
Help your little ones understand that education and other study commitments are just as important as their sporting passions.
You should be spending equal amounts if not more time focusing on academic achievements rather than drilling in the significants of winning a swimming race or scoring the most goals.
This allows them to achieve a better sense of interaction among different social settings as well.
- Allow them to play multiple sports
Being involved in multiple sports allows children to experience various dynamics and learn that different sports have different athletic requirements.
This also helps them decide which sport they’d truly like to pursue and teaches them how to perform accordingly. It can also work on the contrary, as accepting they can’t ‘be good’ at everything is an equally important learning curve.
- Remove the ‘guilt game’
Never make your child feel guilty for ‘making you take them to sport’. Phrases like: ‘I’ve got better things to do’ are terribly discouraging and can leave your child feeling like more a burden, rather than a success in your eyes.
Sure, we’re all busy, but showing willingness and enthusiasm in their efforts only entices them to strive for the next level!
- Stop comparing
One of our biggest no-no’s – comparing your child’s capabilities and achievements to others.
You should never be telling your children they’re not good enough because “Sarah and Hayden swam twice that far in half the time”. Blurting this out in moments of frustration is incredibly harmful to your child’s self-esteem.
Although competition is important, they’re still your son or daughter which ties in with our second point on accepting the inevitable losses. Comparisons shouldn’t be made, especially at such early stages of childhood and participating in competitive sports.
Any parent knows that being one isn’t the easiest job in the world. While some don’t like to take on others’ advice, it’s handy to know that support is available in almost every aspect of parenting.
At the end of the day, letting your child be a kid and enjoy themselves while they’re young is one the most important things.
So remember, keep a cool head while applying your teaching strategies and enjoy your parenting journey!