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How to Find the Ideal Sport for Your Child

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Brett Callan.

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Nowadays, it can be difficult to encourage children to explore the outdoors, what with the distractions of television, video games, and the Internet in the home. However, it's vital that you encourage your children to be active, as it offers a variety of short and long-term benefits. Not only does it allow your children to practice fitness and enjoy a healthy outlet, it can also create habits that extend well into their adult life. With that being said, the next step is to look for a sport or activity that is well suited to your little one. The following are several tips on how to find the right sport that matches with your child:

-Give Them a Taste of Everything: 
For children, variety is an almost essential requirement. Preferences and interests range widely from child to child, and finding the right one can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Therefore, give your child the opportunity to try out as many as sports as possible. This doesn't have to require much time or money - instead, there are a variety of ways to give your child a taste of what's available. Whether through playing with parents or other children, this can be a great starting point to determine which sport suits your child. In addition, make sure that you get your children's opinion when looking for sports. If your child is enthusiastic about a particular activity, then this can be an effective way to nurture an active lifestyle.

-Choose the Right Setting: 
While trying out different activities for your child, try experimenting with different type of settings and places. Does your child prefer playing and bonding with others? Organized sports may be a good match, as they provide kids the opportunity to work in a team, as well as build long-lasting friendships. On the other hand, if your child is more on the shy side, then solo activities such as biking, running or skateboarding may be a better option. Individual sports are a great way to allow them to learn at their own pace, without peer pressure or dependence on others.

In addition, consider the actual environment of the sport, as this can affect the enjoyment of the child. If your child enjoys fresh air, then perhaps hiking in the outdoors or playing baseball or soccer can be ideal. On the other hand, if your child prefers to stay in the water, then try choosing a sport that's matches with that environment. Whether you choose surfing, water polo or simply swimming in general, there are an endless variety of sports that can work with your child.

-Have Fun: 
With any sport or activity, it's vital that your child is fully involved in the process. Continuing with a sport that a child is disinterested in, or even dislikes, can create a great deal of negative emotions attributed to the activity. At best, it can seem like a chore; at worst, it can cause unhealthy habits. If he or she doesn't seem to be having fun or lacks enthusiasm, then it may be time to try another sport. In general, make sure that your child is having fun in whatever activity he or she chooses.

Brett Callan is a writer for Murray Callan Swim Schools, where their Vista swim lessons offer customized support for children throughout San Diego. He loves to enjoy the San Diego weather whenever he can, whether from the beach or at a pool.

Posted in: Blog, Role Daddy, Role Mommy Contributors, Role Mommy Recommends on 10/25/2012

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