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Muscle Sport Magazine

Why You Should Put Your Kids In Sports & Other Activities at a Young Age

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Depending on your parenting style, you either want your child to be the best at everything or you want him or her to pave their own path to their future. Sooner or later you’re going to find out that you don’t have as much control over your child’s life as you think you do. When they’re young, you can sign them up for soccer, cooking classes, chess competitions, yoga, painting, tennis, etc. but once they reach the high school age, they’re going to do what they want to do. It’s never a bad thing to expose your children to different activities at a young age. The trouble comes in when you’re having them compete in physical activities before their bodies are fully developed. Kids under the age of 14 are developing issues in their hips, shoulders, and knees like never before. Physical therapy centers like MOTUS can treat such issues, but no one ever wants to see them happen to someone so young. While engaging your children in sports and other activities is a positive thing, there are some things to keep in mind.

 

Do it for the socialization

Parents, let’s be real. Just because your child was able to kick a soccer ball a week after he or she first learned how to walk doesn’t me you’ve got the next Pele or Mia Hamm on your hands. Don’t for your kid into competitive sport when they’re three years old. There are plenty of programs that let children as young as 3 and as old as maybe 6 or 7 run around in jerseys kicking a ball with no objective. Although they’re not learning the game, it’s okay! At this age you just want them to be active and begin to learn what a team is and how they should interact with other children their age. This is especially true is your child doesn’t go to pre-school or daycare.

 

Be well-rounded

If you’re going to sign your children up for sports, you’re going to want to sign them up for activities that don’t require as much physical effort as well. Consider activities like cooking class, art class, theater, band, chess, or even horseback riding. You never know what your child’s passion is if they don’t get to try a little bit of everything. This doesn’t mean they need to have their schedules booked solid, but throw out some options for them and actually listen to their opinions. They might not really know what they want to do, but let them feel like they have a choice.

 

Don’t feel like you have to do everything

The developing ages can be pretty competitive…among parents. Everyone wants their child to be the one who walked first, talked first, can read first, and then the next thing you know you’re going to be competing for scholarships to college. At such a young age, these extra circular activities don’t mean much besides socialization and tiring them out. If the parent of the child who does the best in the grade tells you that it’s probably because his or her child is going to karate class, math tutoring, chess tournaments, and plays basketball, don’t fall into the trap. Everyone wants to believe that their child is the best because of decisions they made. It might be true, but your child can be exceptional without all that pressure as well. Just think about yourself. Does your life when you were 3-8 years old reflect who you are today? Probably not so much.

 

The activities you sign your children up for are totally based off of personal preference. You should definitely let them try different things out so that they can find their niche. It’s great for socialization skills and relationship building, but you’re not going to form the next Picasso out of a finger painting class. Let your child be who he or she wants to be, but give some direction.

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