Have you as a parent encouraged your daughter to take up a sport? Taking part in sports has many advantages. Here's how and why you should inculcate a love of sports in your daughter.
Are you one of those parents who enroll your son in tennis lessons and your daughter in dance classes? That's all very well - any extra-curricular activity is a disciplining force in itself. However, if you daughter would rather shoot the hoop than shake her hip, think again. Don't push her into a stereotype feminine activity if she doesn't show the inclination for it. Women all around the world are making big bucks in the sports field. And even if she doesn't take up sports as a profession, she will be far healthier, fitter and focused than most girls her age if she plays a sport. Plus, as your daughter enters her teens, wouldn't you rather she chases a ball than chases a man?
Here are five tips to help inculcate a love of sports in your daughter.
If you don't already have membership of a club, apply for it, so your daughter has access to sports facilities. It doesn't have to be a fancy club, as long as it has the tennis, badminton or squash courts, or swimming pool.
Enroll her in classes. This will help her get adjusted to the routine, and will also help her pick up the sport faster. This, in turn, would encourage her to continue with the sport and excel. Once she starts making an improvement, she would strive to get better and better. Thus, participation in a sport fosters a healthy competitiveness in your child, which is far preferable to a laidback attitude.
Do you have a garden at home? Hook up a basketball hoop, and allocate a time, maybe once, twice or thrice a week, to play basketball with her. It doesn't matter if you are just as green at the game as she is. Read up on the rules, and start playing. Make it a regular activity, and before long the two of you will be pros! (And you'll lose your paunch!)
Gift her a pair of skates or roller blades on her birthday. Unfortunately, there are not a great many skating rinks in India. However, this is something she can pick up even while skating around your driveway or in the corridor outside your house. Once she learns how to skate, the skill stays with her throughout her life - skating is just one of those things you never forget. Who knows, maybe 20 years down the line, when she's earning her Master's Degree in the US, she wins an ice-staking competition in the University! Wouldn't that make you proud?
Encourage her in every way possible. Take her to watch sporting activities. Keep her informed of what's going on in the world of sport. Encourage her to improve her favourite game by increasing her stamina and flexibility. While most other parents would be trying to put their kids on diets by the time they enter their teens, your daughter would be toned and fit, and she wouldn't be subjected to the insecurities other teens have, who don't have a focus in their lives.
Here's a quick run-through of the advantages of being involved in a sport:
Keeps her healthy and fit.
Helps her make friends with other like-minded girls and boys.
Helps her fit into a new community apart from school.
Builds character, as any other extra-curricular activity does.
So if she's not playing any sport, enroll her in a class today, and help her make you proud.
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- The Indiaparenting Team