Playing sports, whether on a team or just as an individual, have so many wonderful benefits for children. Studies have shown that kids who play sports are more likely to have healthy lifestyles, learn effective problem-solving skills, and perform better in school.
By: Laura Lebovitz | LAMFT at Grow Counseling
It is easy to see why you would want your kids to be involved in sports! However, the decision to play or not can get more complicated when your kid does not want to participate…
So, how can you help yourself decide to push your kids or not? Here are some questions that could be helpful for you to think about when trying to make that decision.
Why are they hesitant?
It is important to try to determine why your kid does not want to play. If your child is just feeling nervous about trying something new or worried they won’t succeed, you have a bit more room to encourage them to play. If they aren’t interested at all in the sport you’d like them to try, have them consider another possible extracurricular activity they would be interested in. Your kids will receive more benefits from trying something new if it is something that they are interested in.
What is your motivation to push them?
Our history with sports impacts how motivated we are to have our children play. If you loved playing a sport growing up, it would be really tempting to push your child to play to help give them those happy memories you cherish now. While those memories are great, they are not the best reason to push your kids to do a specific sport. Instead, try to find opportunities that your kids will enjoy so that they can build meaningful memories of their own.
How much is too much?
Look at the rest of your schedule before deciding to add another activity. Be realistic about what the potential activity would add to your calendar. If your calendar is really full, maybe it is ok to pass on this opportunity and focus on something else with less of a commitment. Your kids will have a hard time gaining the benefits of playing a sport if they are too time-crunched to enjoy it! Make sure that the activity will be a fun, positive experience for the whole family by avoiding over-loading.
Laura Lebovitz is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist that works in the Suwanee area at GROW Counseling. She received her Masters of Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine. She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and families dealing with a variety of concerns. She specializes in working with anxiety, autism, self-harm, life transitions like divorce, and building healthy relationships within families.