Figure 1 Your child may get into sports. It will help if you take an interest
Sports can be a great way to bond with children of all ages. Whether it is toddlers first exploring team games or teenagers looking to specialize in a sport they enjoy, an interested parent can really help with development and enjoyment. It can even be the difference between a child continuing to play sports or giving up altogether. But what do you do if you are not incredibly sporty yourself?
Sports seem to be everywhere – especially for non-sports people – and it is likely that your child will take some kind of interest at some stage of their development. It can be an excellent way to create something that you and your child have in common but you need to know what you are doing.
You may have spent some time on sports betting sites but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know the ins and outs of pro sports. The good thing is that your child may not know too much either (depending on their age) so learning together could be the perfect way to bond. Here are some things to keep in mind, especially if you do not have much of a background in sports yourself.
Learn the Basics
It is sometimes very tempting to tell a few white lies to your children to make for an easier life. But they can regularly come back to haunt you – and that is especially true when it comes to sports. Don’t start pretending that you are an NBA expert if you know nothing about basketball – your child will not care.
What you do need to do is start learning the basics of any sports that your child looks like taking an interest in. You don’t need to be able to reel off the champions for the last 20 years, but you should at least take an interest in the game. You may even surprise yourself by actually enjoying your new pastime.
Let Your Child Guide the Way
It is understandable if you are concerned about your child’s safety when it comes to playing sports. As an American site, we know that many parents are worried about their kids playing football, even if it is a non-contact version of the sport. We don’t want our children to get hurt, even doing something they enjoy.
But if it is football that your kid gets into, you should at least start that journey with them. You can emphasize safety if you feel the need, but don’t forbid anything right at the start. That method will undoubtedly fail and potentially backfire. Allow your child to begin the interest and feed off their enthusiasm.
Accept Your Limitations
This is something to remember even if you have played sports all your life. The likelihood is that you didn’t make it as a professional athlete, even if you excelled at high school. So don’t push your dreams onto your child once they start taking up the sport you enjoyed as a kid.
If you are a non-sporty parent you should also accept that you won’t be very good at the sports your child gets into. It may not even take very long for your kid to be better at the sport than you are. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are taking an interest in the sports that your child enjoys. It is not really about you at this point.
Look for Professional Help
This is another factor to consider no matter what your level of sports expertise is. Obviously, money can be an issue here but there are thousands of pro coaches teaching children sports and you can still be involved even if you are not the one literally pitching the ball.
You will probably be able to stumble across youth teams in any park in any city or town. But take a moment to do your research online to find out what is on offer in your area. Listen to what kinds of sports your child wants to play and look for reviews online. You should be able to find something suitable and affordable wherever you are.
This can be a tough one to get right. Once your child starts playing sports there will be an opportunity to help them along the way. This should involve giving them advice on how to improve. Children – like anyone – do not like hearing criticism, so you need to be able to get your point over constructively.
If you are not especially talented yourself, this can be an even more difficult task. But you should be able to help your child get better by constructively telling him what to do. Kids will start to think negatively about something that they think they are no good at – so encouragement is key here.
Figure 2 You may find an opportunity to join in the fun
One thing that we have noticed about parents who say that they are not into sports, is that many times there is some kind of activity they enjoy. Sports does not necessarily have to be football, basketball, or baseball. Team sports can be very important. But getting out on a bike, or running, is also sports!
You can do everything you can to get involved if your child starts enjoying team games. But just getting out and sharing a common interest is the most important thing here. You could even concentrate on the exercise and preparation part of enjoying sports – and then turn into an engaged spectator when game time comes around.
This article has been all about learning how to get out and enjoy sports with your children. But a major part of sports is simply watching events on TV. We would always recommend a more physical approach to bonding through sports – but putting your feet up and sharing snacks in front of the game can be beneficial too.
The main thing to remember is that sports can be enjoyed through your child’s involvement. This is something that you can share and bond over – and your interest will be huge for your child. Who knows, you may even start supporting your local team together!
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