As parents, we quite often wonder what the right thing to do for them is. We want them to have the best start in life but there are many different options out there for children of all ages. The best thing we can do though is to make sure that they are taking part in some activity at least, for their health and wellbeing. But where do we start? Well, there are many different sports and activities around now and here are some of the choices you may be faced with. Going through each of them and working out with your child which one they would like to try is going to be great for their self-esteem and confidence.
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Competitive sports are usually great for building a child’s social skills as well as the different physical benefits. Having to work as a team with your friends to win a game or match can be great fun and also wonderful for their overall wellbeing. Learning to work hard and seeing the benefits of this paying off is a great incentive to try hard in other areas of life. It also gives children an outlet for their energy and can help encourage them to sleep well. Which can be music to a parent’s ears. Not only this but we can see our children making friends, forming bonds and enjoying the company of other people this teaches children about social skills, teamwork, and how to interact with other people. These competitive sports such as rugby, football, baseball, and a whole range of others are quite demanding, but this means children gain great fitness levels, and social skills at the same time. Running around a field on a weekend playing with teammates, and feeling a great sense of achievement when they win, our life skills that many people miss out on. But it can be incredibly beneficial, and you might find yourself heavily involved in helping to run these activities yourself. Quite often we end up as parents benefiting from our children’s activities as well. As well as all these extra benefits of taking part in competitive sport, there is always a chance that your child could turn into the next top footballer, or NBA star and have a lifelong career from the sport. If nothing else just aiming to achieve great things within the sport, gives children an insight into having Goals and reaching them.
Gymnastics has been known to Provide a child with flexibility, strength, and stamina. The movements required during a gymnastics competition and the training involved are quite outstanding. Your child will consistently surprise themselves if they work hard within a gymnastics environment. From not being able to do a roly-poly to doing flips and turns on the floor, and spinning around the bars with chalk on their hands is something that many small children dream off. Progression can take a while in gymnastics, and many children find that difficult, but overcoming challenges, being persistent and achieving results, is wonderful for self-esteem, self-control, and building their perseverance levels. Gymnastics can go all the way up to the Olympic level of course, and if your child is talented and hard-working, then they can follow their dreams, all the way if they want. Ultimately what starts as a small hobby for many, becomes all-consuming and consistently a part of many children’s lives, Which can do wonders for growth and development. Not only that but gymnastics friends are usually supportive of each other and also create a wonderful team together. Cheering each other on and congratulating each other when medals and trophies are won at competitions, is a great way for your child to learn how to be a good sport. Generally, as with many other sports, there are communities within the gymnastics field, friendship groups are formed, and socializing takes place regularly. In general, children enjoy this and learn great things whilst attending classes.
Martial arts such as tae kwon do, karate, or even mixed martial arts that are becoming more popular now, are fantastic for children. Martial arts can prevent bullying, improve confidence, and of course increase fitness levels overall. Ultimately children can become much stronger and healthier through martial arts. Not only this but martial arts create an overall appreciation for self-control, and put an effort in. Most martial arts follow a “grading“ route and having the overall aim to become a blackbelt one day, can certainly improve your focus. Parents are quite often keen to get their children into martial arts, to help them learn the discipline, and sometimes prevent bullying. This means that there is a range of people that go to Martial arts classes, and this naturally broadens people’s minds and can do wonders for children’s confidence. With martial arts there are generally parts of gradings that include the learning of other languages, studying movements and recreating forms or “patterns“, these all take time and effort to learn, and prepares children for learning and study further down the line. Not only this but children can and do feel great about themselves when they know what they are capable of during their martial arts training. Competitions, and games that come along with martial arts training, add an extra dimension to the activity. It takes a lot of courage to take on a tournament, or grading and is certainly character building. Overcoming nervousness can be a wonderful side-effect of starting martial arts training, And this will help reduce anxiety in many people.
Dancing is considered a great form of exercise for children. Anything that moves your body in a specific way is fantastic for your overall health and well-being. Ultimately dancing is an art form, but the amount of work that goes into every show and exam means that your child will gain masses of exercise, and benefit significantly from it. The memory required to remember steps, routines, and dances to go in large productions and shows, takes focus, and drive, and determination. It isn’t easy especially the higher up the grade you get, but a good dance teacher will start your child slowly, to build up strength in their feet and legs to start with. The building of these foundations for children is essential since dancing takes a significant amount of energy and strength. Studies have shown that ballerinas have stronger legs than rugby players in some instances. So encouraging your child to start this and take part whilst making new friends will do them good. These skills can also be applied to their lives as they grow up, since there are plenty of professional roles for dancers, and even more so with the rise of TV shows surrounding the dancing world.
Athletics covers a wide range of sports that can eventually take you to an Olympic field. Athletics touch as shotput, and long-distance running, as well as sprint and pole vault are interesting, testing, and send for children to partake in. Not only this but children learn all about their bodies, and what they are capable of when pushing them through these games. Training can be intense, but the level of fitness required, and the amount of time spent exercising Can do children the world of good. The sense of achievement when they reach a new personal best or receive a medal at a competition even from a young age is excellent for their self-esteem. Ultimately athletics requires a certain level of fitness, that not all of the sports do, but you all have to start somewhere, and if your child currently takes no exercise, then they will pick it up quickly if you sign them up for athletics. As with many of the other activities mentioned here, there are always teams surrounding you, and somebody to cheer you on. Coaches are generally the ones who give you advice and help your child progress, but there will always be somebody else nearby with a bit more experience you can help. This is where teamwork comes in and can be useful to learn quickly to be able to support each other in training and competing.
If your child isn’t necessarily a particularly active child or somebody that wants to run around in the cold weather, there are a host of other activities that children can partake in that will help them boost their self-esteem, and also their fitness levels. Not everything has to be running based or competitive and this doesn’t actually suit every child. It’s always a good idea to find what suits your own child and go with that to start with. Golf is wonderful to support, it is something that children can take up and perfect over time, and doesn’t necessarily require Shalon energy for a whole hour. However, there is also a lot of activities required when playing golf, such as walking around and swinging of the clubs. This means that children can get out of the house, play again get some exercise and still feel good about themselves. An alternative could be games such as tennis, badminton, or table tennis since these are indoors generally and can help the children who aren’t particularly keen to play outside. Swimming is also another activity that can be taken up by any child, and be something positive for them. Swimming lessons are relatively low cost and quite easy to find in your local leisure centers as well. So whatever your child likes the look of, allow them to test the waters so to speak, and try out an activity to see if they enjoy it. you really want your child to find an activity that they enjoy, that is half the battle.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or it’s author.
My son took Tai Chi for 3 years and loved the classes. Both his sifu’s were extremely patient and accepted him into their regular class. He still practices Tai Chi on his own now
That’s awesome Curtis. Emmett is martial arts as well. ☺