Children engage in many interesting pursuits. They explore the world and choose things that will help them develop. One of these is sport. When a child starts showing interest in a particular game, how can a parent step up and nurture it? Here are some inspirations for you to be your child’s best ally:
Nurture Their Health
As a young athlete, your child may feel invincible. One of the primary things you must impart to them is that their health is their greatest investment. For one, never downplay any injury. Consult an expert such as a good foot specialist here in Singapore if they feel the need.
Also, remind them of the basics. Good nutrition will fuel their body. Warm-up exercises will prepare them for their tasks. Good sleep repairs their tissue. Hydration is also vital in maintaining their stamina. Being attuned with their physical needs will help them have a promising start.
Emphasise Fun and Skills
A dose of competition is healthy. But do not let your child get consumed with this. Guide them to see that sport is more about having fun and acquiring skills. Let them enjoy the whole process of the game. Focusing on the scores alone will take the fun out of the sport.
Highlighting the skills that they have gained will help them appreciate their sport. Let them see how they have grown and the need to still do so. Challenge them to never be stagnant with their craft.
Revel in Small Moments
As a parent, your heart may burst with joy when your child wins in a game. But before looking at this big accomplishment, celebrate the baby steps as well. Do not forget the first time your child stood and represented their team. Cheer for their milestones, their firsts in their chosen sport. It could be the first shoot, pass, or goal.
Recording these moments will help relive them over and over. Also, your child will see that you value the small things. Go to all their games as much as possible. Do not limit yourself to championships alone.
Use Failure as a Springboard of Life Lessons
It is life’s reality that sport is not all about winning. Your child may get disheartened every time they experience this. Be there for them and emphasise the lesson instead. Show them what they gain every time they lose. It could be that they will learn more about perseverance, optimism, and sportsmanship.
Let them know that failure is not dead ends but detours. Help them navigate through these obstacles. They will also go gentle on themselves if they see that losing is not a big deal for you.
Let Your Child Enjoy Other Interests
Sport is a productive way to spend one’s time. But do not let your child’s life revolve around it. Encourage them to have other interests. For example, do not introduce your son as “my son, the basketball player.” By doing this, you are linking his whole personality to the sport. This may have adverse effects if they lose interest in sport. They might have issues with their self-identity.
Your child might get interested in more than one kind of sport in their lifetime. But what they need to know is that you are on their team, cheering them on, regardless of what sport it may be.