When raising our kids, we can often find ourselves becoming swept away by their childhood passions. When our kid is cast as the third shepperd in the school Christmas pageant, their tour-de-force performance becomes quintessential viewing for the family. But just when we’re about to start canvassing casting agents, they’ve become bored with acting and taken up karate. Then, by the time we’ve gotten used to washing and ironing karate gis they’ve decided they’re going to take up ballet. We smile encouragingly in the hope that they’ll find one outlet that sticks. But what happens when they choose an activity that’s anathema for us? For sports-a-phobic parents, encouraging our kids’ sporting activities can be difficult when we have no real knowledge of (or interest in) their chosen game. Being a parent is complicated enough without having for feign enthusiasm for sports we dislike. But fear not, here are some ways in which even the most sports averse parents can appreciate and even enjoy an active involvement in their kids’ sporting activities.
Try to get into it
If you can’t then that’s okay, but many parents find themselves becoming sports converts upon seeing their child find a sport that they’re passionate about. Do what you can to build a personal investment. Perhaps betting responsibly on your child’s favorite team by way of a gaming website might muster some enthusiasm. Cheering alongside your children at a live game is also a great way of building a personal investment in their beloved game, while giving the whole family an opportunity to bond.
Focus on the benefits
Even if sports bore you rigid, the physical and cognitive benefits of sports for kids are undeniable. Not only will the regular physical activity (combined with a healthy balanced diet)n ensure that they’re in great physical health but there will be far reaching benefits that will help not only in their academic development but in their social development too. The strategic thinking required in most sports engenders quick thinking and creative problem solving skills while the build up to competitive sporting events is great preparation for tests and exams. It teaches them focus while helping them to understand the correlation between hard work and payoff. Membership of a team or group also allows them to be part of a social group and make long lasting friendships that will boost their self-esteem while building their social skills.
Be there for them through the highs and lows
When kids get proficient at anything, they tend to become extremely competitive. While this can lend them drive and passion, it’s important to ensure that these don’t come at the expense of good manners and sportsmanship. As society adopts an increasingly polar viewpoint, it can be extremely important to teach kids to think in terms more nuanced than winners and losers. When they lose you can console them and improve their outlook by getting them to focus on the lessons learned from defeat that will enable them to bounce back stronger next time. In times of victory, you can teach them to be a gracious winner and a role model for their peers.
A lack of interest in sports does not necessarily mean that you won’t have a fun and rewarding time guiding your child through success in sports.