Now that summer break is officially underway, you may already hear the complaints from your children, saying, “We’re bored!” or you’ve started to struggle with a chore chart or have become tired of arguing with your child about how much screen time he or she is having. Summer can be a wonderful change of pace from a busy schedule, it can be a difficult and often times frustrating season. If your child is not already enrolled in a summer sport, here are a few reasons you may want to encourage him or her to participate in a sport:
During the school year, your child may be active during the day thanks to physical education classes and time on the playground, however, when summer rolls around it may be more difficult to keep the momentum going when it comes to getting exercise. During the first few weeks of summer, it may be easy to get your kid to the local pool or to take a bike ride, but after awhile he or she may grow bored. If you child is enrolled in a summer sport that he or she enjoys, he or she will get exercise on a regular basis and may be more eager to do more activities outside of practice and games.
Creating a Routine
Although you may want to slow things down in the summer and be a little more spontaneous, creating some kind of a routine is good and will lessen the likelihood of hearing, “What should I do now?” Not only will it provide some structure for your child, but it will make the transition back to the school year much easier.
Socialization and Healthy Competition
Getting involved in any activity provides the perfect opportunity for your child to socialize with peers and extend his or her social circle. During summer break, many children end of spending their free time with the same kids, creating potential boredom and drama, but interacting with new kids is always good for developing and improving social skills.
In addition to socializing, becoming involved in a sport can allow your child to experience healthy competition. Competition, in general, has a bad reputation and many parents are hesitant to place their child in a competitive situation, but when done right it can be beneficial. When a child is engaged in healthy competition, he or she learns how to make a decision quickly, have self-control, maturity and discipline. Additionally, he or she will learn his or her limits, set goals, learn how to handle loss and how to work with others (even during conflict).
A Few Tips for Parents
While there are many benefits to participating in a summer sport, don’t pressure or force your child to join a sport he or she has no interest in. As a parent, it’s important to be involved and present at your child’s sporting event (you can help coach, volunteer, etc.), but be a good role model and be a “good sport”. Far too many parents get too into the game, exhibit a poor attitude, and forget that “it’s just a game”.