Most parents love to watch their children participate in sports. As your child is running down the field giving it their best, you can’t help but be filled with a sense of pride. Other parents may wonder if it’s even worth the time and effort for their kids. Actually, there are many benefits to why children should play sports. Here are just a few to consider.
Benefit #1 – Sports Help Children to Feel Self-confidence
As they develop a new skill and talent kids self-esteem can be greatly increased. Through practicing and hard work children learn that they can accomplish much more than they ever realized. This is also a great opportunity for parents or older siblings to work with younger kids and spend time with them honing their skills. What is more fun for a mom or dad than to spend the afternoon throwing a ball with their kids or shooting baskets after school? It’s also a great way to have some family time! As your child develops an interest in a certain sport watch the professional teams as a family, pick a favorite team and root for them together. Children who spend time with a loving family do better in school, have much more self-confidence and will be better parents themselves in the future.
Benefit #2 – Sports Help Children Develop Leadership and Teamwork Skills
One of the most important lessons in life for any child is to learn to follow instructions and to work with others. Sometimes, we all encounter certain adults who struggle with this. It is vital as a child to learn to listen to instructions and follow them. With a coach to guide them, sports will give children this opportunity. It is equally as important for children to learn to put the needs of the overall team above their own wants and desires. Team sports for children can also help them to develop leadership skills as they notice a teammate who needs help and they take action. Leadership skills will emerge as they notice areas the team can improve and work hard with their teammates by offering encouragement and acceptance.
Benefit #3 – Active Kids are Healthy Kids
In the United States, one out of every six children is considered obese according to the American Heart Association. This is not only an alarming statistic but also dangerous to their health as they grow into adulthood. Young children are starting to show signs of diseases that were previously only affecting adults such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As children participate in sports they learn to love to be active. This love of healthy exercise can help them greatly as they grow into adults and continue this lifestyle.
Benefit #4 – Children Who Play Sports Workout Their Stress
Kids can become very anxious with demands of school work, household chores, finding friends and many other things that sometimes adults don’t think about. Sports gives them an opportunity to have an outlet for these frustrations. As they exercise, run and play hard they’re able to deal with the stress in a healthy way and vent some of their frustrations.
Benefit #5 – Playing Sports Build Lasting Friendships
Kids need friends so much in elementary and junior high school age. Friends give them a support system that parents simply cannot provide. They create many fun, happy memories together all the while building relationships that could last them a lifetime. Let the kids play and have fun together!
As fun as it is to play sports, there is a chance your child can catch lice while playing sports. Here are a few tips on keeping your kids healthy and head lice free while they participate in sports:
- Teach children not to share sports equipment that could be harboring head lice or nits. Items such as helmets, hats, jackets, towels, or any other equipment that could transfer lice.
- Make sure your child is not sharing a locker or gym bag with another player.
- Inevitably, all the children will show up at practice and throw their belongings in a large heaping pile next to the sideline. Teach your child to keep their belongings separate and away from the group pile where other children’s things could be infected with head lice.
- Direct head-to-head contact is the most common way to catch head lice. Talk to your children about avoiding direct head-to-head contact wherever possible.
- Teach proper hygiene by having your child shower and wash their hair after every practice and game.
- As a parent be alert and watch for signs and symptoms of head lice. Catching the problem early on is a much easier fix than even a few weeks later.