Six reasons to introduce sports to your child
What if you could have a magic potion that could make your child physically fit and strong, hone their minds, and even balance their social and emotional quotient and keep them that way all their lives? Most parents would be rushing to get that magic elixir. You too can get that magic potion for your child and it is much easier than it sounds. Modern terminology calls this elixir sports – that includes outdoor games and puzzle games for kids.
1: It helps in child development
Experts suggest that sports or playing in an organised, disciplined manner in teams has a hugely positive effect on every one. They also affirm that building sport into a child’s life makes it easier for them to stay fit and healthy all their lives. And it elongates their life spans.
That’s not all. Child obesity is a concern for most modern parents. We struggle to keep our children’s weight under control as they grow up. Introducing them to the habit of playing a sport early on will ensure that they get the required amount of exercise. Swimming, playing tennis or running are all excellent and enjoyable ways to stay fit and much more fun and socially rewarding.
2: It brings in discipline for life
Want your kids to learn a disciplined way of life? Get them into sports. The yen to play better and compete at the next level will teach them the requirement of discipline to reach their goals. P V Sindhu, India’s silver medal winner at the Olympics was not allowed to eat ice cream while she was preparing for Olympics. While most of us are not called upon for such severe discipline, sport means regular practice and routine, something every child could do with even if they choose not to play professionally. Getting up on time also means getting into bed at time. They will learn to sleep on time, eat well and control their desires. Good habits that last a lifetime.
3: Sports creates team players
There is no ‘I’ in success. Everyone loves a team player and an adult’s success in the workplace hinges on their being able to successfully work with their teams. No matter how good a batsman Virat Kohli or M S Dhoni are, their game would be lost if the others refused to field or bowl well. Sports teaches the importance of being a team like nothing else. Businesses often have sports as part of their activities just to teach team building and morale boosting. Would you have your child miss out on this skill?
4: Sports teaches them focus
When you read your child the story of Arjun from the epic Mahabharata who saw just the eye of the bird instead of the bird itself and how he was the best marksman, you are telling your child about the importance of focus in life. Sports teaches you how to look at the goal and ignore everything else. A very handy life-skill for every kid. Similarly, puzzle games for kids will challenge their thinking and exercise their minds.
5: It teaches them patience
Practice makes perfect, especially in sports. To master a skill, you have to be at it again and again, day after day, week after week, year after year. This inculcates patience in children at a young age. In the age of instant gratification, where virtual reality often trumps the real world, a sense of perseverance and patience is the key to winning. When you have to lose several times before you can hone your skill and go for the win, or when you have to play puzzle games for kids, it teaches patience.
6: It’s a whopper for self-esteem
Building confidence in one’s abilities and developing self-respect is the most important attribute, central to everyone’s happiness, success and well-being. Sports teaches you to compete without rancour and lose with grace. It teaches how to share the limelight and how to win without arrogance. When you win some and lose some from the very beginning you learn to take the highs with the lows in life as well and nothing shakes your confidence easily. Similarly, solving puzzle games for kids will boost your self-esteem.
How to introduce sports to your childWhile playing might be the work of childhood, getting a child interested in sports and nudging them gently but firmly into a more organised form of play is also important. Some kids may get into the groove easily and earlier than others. But others may take longer and may try a few before they settle into one they like. Here are our suggestions on how to get your child to explore a sport.
Introduce the right sport at the right time: The basic rule is not to force them before they are ready, yet as a parent you also have to gauge that they are not being lazy or just procrastinating. Like everything else in life, being age-appropriate is very important. Too easy and it becomes boring. Too difficult and the child gets frustrated and loses interest.
Appreciate the effort: Praise the effort and not the outcome, especially initially. This helps the child focus on the right issues. Do not criticise too hard but be sure to give your feedback as they do value a parent’s opinion.
Try a variety of sports: There are some sports or puzzle games they’ll like, some they’ll absolutely hate. As a parent, you need to make them explore as many sports and puzzle games as possible so they have a choice and can figure out where their passion lies.
So what are you waiting for? Give your child the gift of sports and watch them bloom. You can be sure you have a healthy happy child who will grow into a well-adjusted adult.