5 Tips for Parents with Kids Who Love Sports

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1. Keep Your Child's Spirits High

Sports can be draining, especially for a child. The difficult training hours, the staunch competition, and the many games can wear them out from time to time.

A great parent knows exactly how to keep their kids excited and motivate them to pursue their passion. Boosting your child's morale can be as simple as talking to them at the end of a long day of practice, or as creative as consulting the services of businesses like Strideline to help your child relish being an athlete. Dig deep to find what your child loves about their game of choice, and keep that fire alive--they'll thank you for it in the long run.

2. Be Involved

While it's unhealthy to be a helicopter parent, it can be equally harmful to be too far detached from your child's activities. Kids take notice when their parents are involved in what they love, and appreciate it when parents are engaged without getting in the way of their fun.

While the average parent treats driving their children to practice as a chore, for example, good parents are aware of the bonding opportunity this presents as well as the feeling of support gained from seeing one's parents go out of the way for them.

Find the proper balance between letting your child feel independent, and displaying your support for them in the face of what they love to do.

3. Meet their Friends

Getting to know the kids who interact with yours is a must. These are the people with whom your kids might end up forming lasting friendships in the long run, and from whom your children will learn the value of teamwork and leadership. Meeting these influences can help you monitor your child's growth, and give you an idea of what more you could do to help them develop their social skills.

It helps to develop a good rapport with your child's team. Building this kind of positive reputation means dishing out encouragement as often as you can, being present during after-practice hangouts, and planning out gestures that help the team grow as a unit (one popular trend right now involves getting the team their own set of custom socks.

4. Don't Freak Out Over Injuries

Nobody would fault a parent for getting upset when their child suffers an injury. The instinct to protect our young is only natural, after all. But there are advantages to keeping a level head when your kid gets hurt in the field of play.

For one thing, it's important for a child to learn that accidents can happen, and that some risks are worth accepting for the sake of greater things. Well-balanced children learn early on that accidents and injuries are a part of life, and shouldn't prevent them from pursuing healthy activities. On the other side of  things, children also learn how to handle injuries from their parents --you wouldn't want to show them that panic is the appropriate response.

 All that having been said, it is important to do your part to make your child's experience with sports as safe as possible, and prevent any serious harm from happening while they're at play.

5. Never Push Too Hard

Nothing ruins a passion like unnecessary pressure. It's understandable for a parent to want their children to excel and rise above their peers, but going overboard can lead to some big issues like adolescent depression further down the line.

 When it comes to encouragement, make sure you don't cross the line. The right amount of push usually looks like a clear discussion where a parent outlines their reasons for wanting their kid to aim higher, and then listens to what their child has to say in return. When these discussions are closed on a positive note (ex., And remember I want you to choose what you feel is best for you), then you know that positive encouragement has been achieved.

Keep your child happy and motivated while engaging in the things that make them feel alive. They'll thank you for it when they're grown, though their smiles today are sure to be reward enough.

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