Child Development

Promoting Sports for a Happier and Active Childhood | Sparklekidz

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Promote positivity and healthy habits. Inspire children to embrace sports for a happier and active lifestyle. Learn more!

Kids and sport: trying their best

Sport can be good for children in many ways. For example, sport gives children the chance to:

  • enjoy physical activity, develop physical skills and build fitness
  • learn about teamwork, cooperation and other life skills
  • make new friends outside of school
  • experience emotional highs and lows like winning well, bouncing back from defeat

Sport also teaches children about how important it is to try your best, even if this doesn’t always mean winning. For example, your child might do a great job of running and kicking the ball, but her soccer team might still lose the match. It’s all about how you and your child see the experience.

Role-modelling a positive sporting attitude for children

When you’re watching sport together, it can help to be aware of your comments. You can encourage a positive sporting attitude by cheering on your team for their efforts, even if they’re losing badly. Abusing a team, umpire or anyone else for a loss can send a negative message to your child.

It’s also good to point out and praise athletes who don’t come first. You can talk to your child about how hard the athlete tried, despite the result. You might like to give some examples of athletes you admire who don’t always win, but who are known as good sports.

And when your child comes home after playing sport, ask your child whether she had fun rather than asking whether she won or lost. Focus on enjoyment, participation, effort and being a good sport.


Being positive and encouraging at junior sport

When you go to sporting events, your behaviour has a big influence on your child. Whether that impact is positive or negative depends on how you behave, speak, sound and take part on the sidelines.

For example, think about how your child might feel if you shout something like ‘Oh, how could you miss that?’ or ‘Can’t you run faster?’

Compare those feelings to how your child might feel if you say, ‘Great shot – better luck next time!’ or ‘Keep going – you’re almost there’.

Your tone and body language often have a big influence on your child too. If your child thinks you’re angry with her for missing a shot, it can take the fun out of sport. It can also affect your child’s self-esteem, if it makes her think she’s not good at sport.

But if you look and sound like you’re feeling positive and having fun, this can help your child feel the same way. At the end of the match, you can even tell your child how much fun you had watching him or his team play.


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