Every mom knows that the key to raising a healthy, happy, and well-rounded child is by cultivating a healthy passion. That is, by providing enough support and encouragement as they pursue what they love.
For mothers so fortunate to have a child who loves sports, half the work–a.k.a. the part of figuring out what exactly your child wants to do–has already been done. All you need to do is stoke a fire that’s already there–through motherly love and affection, of course.
Whether it’s driving them to 6am practice or surprising them with custom gear from Strideline, small, meaningful gestures is all it really takes. More than anything else, it’s your presence and undivided attention that matters.
Looking for creative ways to encourage your child? Here are some parenting tips for sporty children
- Be Involved
As a parent, you’re a coach, teacher, friend, and pep-talk-giver wrapped in one. Many times, your children will look to you for comfort and all kinds of advice. Make sure that you’re there when they need you, especially during times when they feel worn out or discouraged.
There’s a fine line between being concerned and being a helicopter parent. Stay involved but, at the same time, allow your children to thrive on their own. Give your kids room to fail and figure things out on their own; but be there to catch them when things go south.
Show your children that you care through simple gestures. Ask about practice every now and then; find out how things are going with their teammates; take them to watch their favorite team. Or, better yet, visit the custom sock designer at https://www.strideline.com/ and give them a cool, customized gift. Sometimes, even the smallest things can have the biggest impact.
- Meet their Friends
Getting to know your children’s friends is an absolute must. Studies show that children learn more from their peers than they do from their parents. While you can’t control how your kids are influenced by their friends, you can at least surround them with the right people.
Find out who your kids are close to and get to know them. Invite them over for dinner or engage them in a short chat. Meeting these friends can help you monitor your child’s development and keep you involved as they get older.
Instead of alienating your child’s friends and teammates, do the opposite. Build good rapport and develop a positive relationship with each of them. Find ways to create camaraderie both with your children and with their friends.
- Never Push Too Hard
Few things destroy a passion more than unnecessary pressure. While you should definitely push your children to excel, doing so should never come at the expense of their well-being.
Athletic excellence is important but cultivating a passion is more so. Encouraging your children to do well is good for their development, but pushing them too hard can cause big problems such as anxiety and adolescent depression.
Encourage your children in moderation. Too little encouragement, and you’ll appear distant; too much, and you’ll cause undue pressure. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, always keep things just right.
Seeing your children participate and succeed in sports is a wonderful feeling none can replace. If you happen to have a child with a passion for sports, consider yourself lucky, and be the number one fan every mother should be.