Playing sports is a good thing for most children. It teaches them team building skills, gives them plenty of exercise, and helps them make friends. Athletics can help a child become a well-rounded individual. Fall is a busy time for most children. School is starting to kick into full-gear and holidays are coming up. Adding a sport on top of that can be tricky. Here are some tips to help your fall athlete excel in all areas.
1. Set priorities- Priorities will vary depending on your family. Dinner as a family, church activities, etc. For students school will always be one of these opportunities. Your child has to know what is important to you, and what needs to be important to them. Make sure that he or she understands that first thing is first.
2. Establish a schedule – Including your child in creating a schedule that they will stick to not only helps with time management, but teaches your child very important responsibility and organizational skills that they will carry with them forever. Look at the priority list that you already established. Now find ways to fit these in. Perhaps you will make a homework time immediately after school everyday, before sports practice. Maybe you can set a family dinner time where every member will be sitting at the table. Work practices and games into this schedule.
3. Talk about consequences and rewards – After you have worked with your child to establish priorities and create a schedule then talk to them about the importance of being responsible and sticking to it. Make sure they understand that their choices have rewards and consequences. For example, if they spend time everyday working on school work then they will be more likely to get grades and thus rewarded when report cards come home. If they neglect their scheduled homework time then it will probably show up in their grades and they will have to face the consequences (such as giving up one of their fun activities) when report cards come home. Make sure that they understand and are in agreement to everything that you have discussed and then let them stick to their program. Provide plenty of encouragement, but try not to micro-manage. Let them learn from seeing rewards and consequences in action.
By putting these guidelines in place and working on these skills with your child you will develop a successful fall athlete who will grow-up to be an organized and responsible adult.