If you are a busy parent, especially a single mom, you may find the thought of allowing your kids to participate in sports to be unthinkable. After all, the equipment can be expensive. The sport could be dangerous. And the time… Oh, the time…
kids Participate In Sports
What you may not realize is how beneficial sports can be for your child, and ultimately, for you. It is not just about wins and losses and schedules and pizza parties. (And to be sure, there will be lots of pizza parties.)
This is not to say that there won’t be sacrifices. There is equipment cost associated with sports such as finding the perfect glove for your little one with Little League aspirations.
The reason for the special equipment is performance and safety. Products like youth baseball socks have the dual benefit of protecting feet from blisters when rounding the corner to home and creating a sense of team solidarity, which is vital in team sports. Here are a few reasons why participating in sports is worth the sacrifice:
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Playing by the Rules
Up to a certain age, children are encouraged to play free-form. They are given objects to manipulate however they will. Up to a certain age, all toys go into mouths, are pulled, stomped, and thrown. And that’s just fine, up to a certain age.
But that is not how the real world operates. We have rules and boundaries that we have to learn to respect. One of the best ways to get kids to learn boundaries is by teaching them sports. The fun of the sport is in accomplishing a challenging task within the scope of narrow boundaries.
The ball has to be held in a certain way, thrown a certain way at a certain time. You cannot just pick up a basketball and start running. You have to bounce it a certain way with particular timing. If you want to get a football across the goal line for 6, you have to navigate 100 yards of rules and boundaries. If your child is having a hard time learning boundaries, sports can be a great teacher.
Playing Well with Others
Another thing that team sports is known for is teaching kids how to play well with others. In team sports, the only way for you to win is if the team wins. It does not matter how many points you personally score. If the team loses, you lose. This is not an easy concept to teach. But sports participation is one of the best ways to teach it.
Beyond winning and losing is just the act of cooperation. A lot of people with different personalities have to come together for a couple of hours at a time to perform an activity. The game cannot be played without everyone’s participation. You can’t play a team sport by yourself. If you want to play baseball, you are going to have to make a few friends.
Not only do you have to make friends, you have to convince them to join you in a particular activity. The number of social skills learned on a playground is staggering. Those social skills are even more intense in organized sports. If your child does not play well with others, sign them up for sports.
Losing Is Not the End of the World
While there is a strong emphasis on winning, the bigger lesson learned in sports is that losing is not the end of the world. It is a natural part of life and must be taken in stride. There are few things worse than a sore loser. It magnifies social problems because no one wants to play with them.
Kids have to learn that losing is most certainly an option. In fact, it is the likely outcome most of the time. Winning is a result of hard work, the right equipment, and playing well with others. When one person on the team wins, everyone on the team wins. And that not only makes for better kids, it makes for a better world. When your kids learn these valuable lessons, it makes your job as a parent that much easier.