When it comes to putting your child into sports, there are lots of options. However, not every sport will be right for your child. Helping them choose the right sport will depend entirely on their maturity, interpersonal skills and physical fitness. Here are some tips to help you guide your child in the right direction.
Some kids interact well with other children. Others can be loners. Your child’s interpersonal development can help you weed out some of sports that your child may be interested in. If you feel your child would be comfortable working closely with others, a sport such as baseball or soccer might be the perfect fit. If they prefer to work solo, a sport like tennis might be a good choice.
Some sports take a lot of dedication and maturity. Martial arts, for example, requires that students study on a consistent basis. The also need to be mature enough to learn about self defense and fighting without using their skills inappropriately outside of class. If your child has a problem with long term dedication, you may want to sign them up for sports that run in seasons such as football.
As a parent, you will be able to easily tell how much physical stress your child can handle. If they are anything like my son, they will be able to handle just about anything. However, some kids are in poor physical condition or underdeveloped. Of course, this is no reason to tell them that they cannot participate in sports at all. You will just need to help them select a sport that is low key and matches your child’s level of physical endurance.
Some sports require a significant amount of intelligence to be successful. Chess (yes, chess is a competitive sport) is only for the brainiest kids. Other sports such as curling requires an understanding of physics and calculating strategies. If your child typically excels in the classroom, you may find a sport that allows them to utilize their intellect.
How Much Can You Handle as a Parent?
This is an important question to ask yourself. Most people consider only the child’s expectation of the sport, but you must also know what your limits are. Some parents can stomach seeing their child ramp off a dirt jump in a motocross race. To other parents, this would make them queasy. This is an fun time during your child’s life. You want to be able to enjoy it with them without feeling like you need to look away.