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Making sure that our kids are active is important to us as a family. One of the lessons that I have learned through the years is that we should support our kids to be active in what interests them. Whether that is a ‘main’ stream sport, or an activity that is less common, it’s important that they are able to participate in what makes them happy.
Young children do not know what they are interested in unless you give them the opportunity to try it. Sometimes, as parents, we tend to lean towards the main stream sports and activities, like soccer, baseball/softball, and basketball. Or we tend to enroll our kids in activities that we used to participate in because we figure that if we loved it, our kids will too. While some times this is the case, other times it’s not. It’s important for us to get out of our comfort zone and expose our children to more than just those activities that we are familiar with.
My kids do some ‘typical’ sports. They both play soccer for the local competitive soccer club; my older son actually plays year round, with indoor and outdoor soccer. They have also participated in basketball, baseball, judo, swimming, golf, bowling, and surfing, just to name a few. We have given them instruments to play like the piano and guitar and offered to enroll them in lessons. Some of these activities they enjoyed for a period of time, and some they instantly disliked, while others they like and still participate in. The exposure to the various activities is an important part of the process of deciding what they truly liked.
Less Common Activities my Kids Love
Karate – At a fairly young age, my son, who is now 13, began expressing an interest in karate. I knew nothing about karate, but decided that I would look into options in our area. While it was completely foreign to me as I conducted my research, I found a dojo near our house that we tried. Today he is a brown belt, about 6 months away from earning his first level junior black belt! Over the years, I have had to educate myself on the art of karate, and still look to my son to help me do that.
Hip Hop – It never occurred to me that my 7 year old son would be interested in dancing. I was not even watching for that to be an opportunity for him. It took my cousin to point out to me that he had some raw talent that should be focused on; and she isn’t even a dancer! It was that comment that opened my eyes to more possibilities for my kids. Almost 5 years later, he is till dancing and is noted as being one of the most talented kids in the group.
As they grow…
As our kids get older, they will decide what they like and what they don’t like. They may also be willing to try some additional sports when they get to junior high and high school. Personally, we are trying to get our boys to participate in other sports that are not necessarily typical like golf, swimming, wrestling, water polo or tennis. Not only do we hope that they might enjoy them, but there are also more opportunities for college scholarships because fewer people play them!
What are your thoughts on sports and activities for your kids? Comment below….