Responsible Sports Parenting
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Responsible Sports Parenting

Liberty Mutual has recently put together a Responsible Sports program, which provides resources for parents and coaches to help young athletes to reap the full benefits of playing sports. My son is still little, but I can envision him take part in such team sports as basketball, baseball or soccer when he is old enough.

Team sports can be beneficial to children's development both physically and psychologically. When the time is right, I'll definitely encourage my son to play on a school team. It'll be a great way to help him become more cooperative, confident, persevere and productive. As a parent, I'm obligated to reinforce the positive aspects of youth sports and help my child apply life lessons from sports on and off the field. I'll tell him what sportsmanship means and that cooperation and team work is valued more than winning the game. I'll be happy to host a house party to treat his fellow players. I'll also encourage him to be a leading member on the team. Even when he doesn't play well, I'll assure him that he has nothing to regret if he has done his best.

All my attempts to be a responsible sports parent are hypothetical at this stage. I'm sure some of you are experienced in parenting a young athlete. I'd love to hear your tips for helping your kid get the most out of playing sports.

If fact, if you share your tips in a blog post by July 7th, you could win an American Express gift card. See details here.

15 Treasure Hunters :

blueviolet said...

I've always just encouraged them to try. If they don't like it, that's fine too. Not everybody likes the same sports and not everyone has the same skill level but it's fine to try things out and see if they like it or not.

The Sleepy Dreamer said...

Very informative, Children can learn so much about themselves while playing.

Debbie said...

None of my kids are natural athletes, but they have enjoyed developing their skills and friendships at YMCA and Community Leagues where competition is not high and good sportsmanship is valued.

cdziuba said...

My sons are as different as can be. One is rather clumsy and the other is athletic. It doesn't matter, as the somewhat clumsy one shines in theater and music and writing. While I agree that team sports can enhance a child's development, I think this entire culture focuses way too much on athleticism.

cdziuba@aol.com

Kim said...

I think that team sports are awesome -as long as the parent is not pressuring. Mine sort of was, and it turned me off sports BIG TIME.

Lia said...

I think children and sports go together. They get interaction amongst kids their own age and its great exercise. My only tip would be is to be supportive and encourage them to play sports and make sure you do your part and be enthusiastic at their games and a big hug when they do good or not so good for that matter.

Xenia said...

I completely agree with you. My daughter is only two so she doesn't play any sports yet, but I plan on letting her choose and try a whole bunch as she gets older. I think a main thing is encouraging children to have fun no matter how good they are and if she really ends up not liking something, she doesn't have to continue to do it. I'd hate for something that is supposed to be fun to end up being a forced, unhappy event.

Kristen said...

My son is about to turn one so we haven't started any sports yet. But if he happens to show interest in playing, I would encourage him to the fullest. If he no longer wanted to play, I would not push him. I really can't stand the parents who force it upon their kids, convinced their child is the next Tiger Woods. Sports should be fun above all else.

rbailey1958 said...

I believe it should B the childs choice whether he/she wants 2 play sports.
pkbailey@charter.net

Jenny said...

My daughter doesn't like any team sports, but she enjoys dancing. I think that's fine as long as she's having fun. All kids are not the same. A responsible parent should be sensitive to the child's unique traits.

Naddez said...

I have two teens that play sports in high school. And they both love it! Start encouraging them when their elementary age children. Not only do they exercise, but they also interact with their peers and meet new friends! :)

Lo said...

Our son is only 19 months but he has a lot of energy. We plan to let him try a variety of sports/athletic activities, and see what he really enjoys.

Lori said...

I do like the "when the time is right" concept. We had our daughter in ballet when she was two and the teacher treated them like this was something they had to be serious about and for the rest of their lives. We didn't go back. Team sports will happen and we'll encourage our kids to stick with what interests them but nothing so serious so early!

cherdon said...

My granddaughter is only 13 months but her daddy is a soccer finatic and plans on putting her in soccer as soon as she's of age. She may not want to play soccer. I know my daughter planned on her taking dance lessons because she does love music and dancing so that is understandable. I agree with when the time is right concept and I do not believe that any child should be forced into a sport that they themselves dont show interest in. Its not fair to them and will only make them miserable and resentment.

Kim said...

I think your post is awesome. My kids aren't old enough to play sports yet, but I believe that when they do reach the right age, they will learn a lot of great lessons by being part of a team. But, I will definitely be a supporter/encourager, & not a forcer!!!

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