Kids love to be active. Running around and playing with friends are some of the few activities that can hold their attention for a reasonable amount of time, so you'll want to be make sure they're getting everything they can from the experience.
Sports can sometimes get a bad rap as a less than worthwhile activity. Some parents would sooner sign their child up for orchestra or an art class than let them play a sport that seems to have no lasting value. While sinking a jump shot might not get someone very far in the professional field, sports offer an opportunity for kids to learn valuable lessons about teamwork and personal responsibility.
An understanding of the learning process is hugely important for raising a competent and independent individual. Learning the basic rules and fundamentals of a game is likely one of their first encounters with the learning curve, which can be a stressful experience for a young child. Luckily, this is a perfect opportunity to teach them the value of practice.
WomensForum had a chance to speak with Dr. Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, developmental pediatrician at Texas Children Hospital, who told us about the importance of parental guidance in this stage of learning, emphasizing that children "need a parent to guide them when they're learning this new milestone that they haven't mastered yet. Later in life when that child is learning a jump shot or their time tables, that child will know to be patient with themselves."
According to Dr. Spinks-Franklin, playing sports are only part of the equation when it comes to learning responsibility. Without proper parental guidance, children are less likely to understand the frustration that comes with losing a game or making a mistake.
This frustration can also lead a child towards wanting to quit the sport. This also acts as a fork in the road where parental guidance is essential. Not letting them give up and encouraging positive practice habits can help your child overcome their frustration while also teaching them the payoff that comes after hard work.
As Dr. Spinks-Franklin explained to us, "Learning takes repetitive exposure and trial and error. For our brains to learn something it also takes a test. In order to get good at something they'll have to do something that isn't necessarily fun. It all takes practice."