Why Pushing Your Kid’s Participation in a Sport Isn’t Optional; It’s Obligatory

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There’s much debate on when and how to push children now so that they can have
productive futures later. Indeed, we wonder just how much is too much?
When it comes to sports, the horror stories of overbearing parents who
strong-arm their kids into athletic endeavors in the hopes that they become the
next LeBron James or Pelé or Simone Biles can scare a lot of would-be
encouragers into choosing to do nothing. But it can also spur some, believing
their babies capable of surpassing even the most legendary of athletic wonders,
to follow suit. Of course, parents must do neither. Instead, they must encourage participation in
activities, especially physical ones, but they must not demand excellence. Take a look a four reasons why you
should push your child to play a sport:

It’s Necessary for a Healthy Lifestyle

Being physically active is
like eating well and getting enough sleep; it’s a necessary component of
healthy living. You don’t allow your child to pass on their vegetables or stay
up all night, and you shouldn’t leave it up to them to avoid routine exercise,
either. Playing a sport will lay a healthy foundation for your child, both
physically and mentally. You shouldn’t pick a particular sport for your child,
but you should demand that he or she do something!

It Encourages Stamina

In addition to physically conditioning
your child, a sport will cultivate discipline and grit in him or her. Teammates
depend on one another to win. Because of this, your child will learn invaluable
lessons about cooperation, dedication and hard work. They will be less likely
to shirk their responsibilities in their effort to prove their worth to the
group.

It Makes Kids Happier

In depth interviews, as well as surveys and questionnaires, show that people
who start playing a sport early in their lives are happier than those who
don’t. This large body of research seems to prove that children who play sports have better
body images, higher confidence levels and improved perceptions of their own
mental health. In short, they are more satisfied overall with their lives and
happier than children who choose not to participate in some sort of team
activity.

It’s Better Than the Alternative

Between homework and
practices/games, kids who play sports will have less unstructured time and will
be less
likely to get into trouble
than those who do nothing after school. Belonging in a group, mastering a skill
and being accountable to others means your child will feel less pressure to fit
in with peers in other ways (via drugs, sex, rebellion, etc.) Doing nothing
shouldn’t be an option for able-bodied children; as shown, they will be less
healthy, less happy and less driven. Thus, doesn’t it make sense that helping
your child find the perfect sport is not only your duty, but their right?

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