Why Parents Should Encourage Their Children To Play Sports

Is your child always on the smartphone or watching television? Watch out! Being inactive can harm his health. So, encourage him to play games – of the outdoor kind!

By Ashwin Dewan  • 8 min read

Why Parents Should Encourage Their Children To Play Sports

At a time when they are growing up fast, children should be active every single day as inactivity can lead to health problems like obesity and sickness. In a blog for Florida children’s hospital, Kids Urgent Care, titled ‘The importance of sports and physical activity’, sport psychologist Dr Glyn Roberts of the University of Illinois, who has worked primarily in the field of sport for children, says, “Sport can affect a child’s development of self-esteem and self-worth, it is also within sport that peer status and peer acceptance is established and developed.”

To quote Kobe Bryant, former American basketball player, “Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they’ve taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences.”

Any sport – be it football, basketball, cricket, tennis, or swimming – not only improves the physical well-being of your child but also contributes to his psychological and social development. One only needs to look at the lives of champions such as Roger Federer – who recently won a record 8th Wimbledon trophy – and Sachin Tendulkar – who retired from cricket as the only cricketer to have scored 100 international ODI hundreds – to understand that sport leads to all-round development.

Sports is good for your child's health. Want to know how? Read the article below.

Here are some of the benefits that sport provides children and why you should encourage your child to play:

1) Self-esteem grows

Sport can have a positive impact on the self-esteem of your child, which in turn will increase her confidence levels. While playing a sport, your child may need to score certain points, perfect a skill or even boost her endurance levels. As she accomplishes these targets, she will realise that if she tries, she can achieve anything and her self-esteem will get a huge boost.

Harsha Gunalan, an SEO specialist, says his three-year-old son was reserved and suffered from low-confidence. He would stutter when talking to others and he wasn’t sure of himself. Joining the school cricket team on Harsha’s insistence brought about a remarkable change in his nature, He soon started talking more to others and his stuttering stopped. It was as if he had been injected with a dose of confidence.

Harsha credits the change in his son to sport.

2) Happiness

Children love to play anywhere and with anything – this is a universal truth. While playing any sport that involves physical activity and exercise, the body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. So, if your child plays a sport, especially as part of a team, she will tend to be happy. 

3) Social skills develop

When you encourage your child to take part in sport, you are also helping to develop his social skills. How? By participating in sport, your child will develop social skills such as leadership and how to communicate and build a team. That will help him later in various spheres of life. He will learn to interact and work not only with other children his age but also with adults in the form of his coaches and sport officials. His social circle will also broaden.

4) Academic performance gets a boost

Children who play a sport regularly usually perform better in studies. One reason for this is that they learn to apply the same principles of dedication and hard work that they use while playing a sport to studies. They learn how to work as part of a team, how to efficiently manage school assignments and maintain focus on their present task. Plus, sport scholarships are always an added incentive.

5) Communication skills improve

If your child is shy and keeps to herself or struggles to talk to others, you should encourage her to play for playing a game could improve her communication skills.

Playing a sport will require your child to be part of a team and this means she will have to communicate clearly with other team members as well as coaches, referees and children from opposing teams.

6) Fitness and health get better

Encouraging your child to participate in sport will foster in him a love of physical activity that will remain with him for life. Children who take part in sport are also aware of healthy food choices as they know they have to eat healthy to achieve their sport goals.

Children who are not involved in sport are relatively less physically active and suffer from various ailments like weight issues and obesity.

Sport is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety. So, encourage your child to play on a regular basis to help her stay fit and healthy.

Sport can contribute not only to your child’s physical development but also to his mental development but there are risks involved. Often, sports injuries are minor but sometimes they can be fatal. Learn how to manage sports injuries in children by going through this ClipBook.

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