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Should Children Play Sports?

What to do when your children don’t want to play sports? You might think that their preferences should be respected — they shouldn’t be forced to do something they really don’t want to do, outside of the basics — homework, chores, treating others nicely, and following safety rules. Some kids love sports, some kids love baseball, and other kids don’t.

But it is something of quite great importance to encouraging your child to join in activities and learn to contribute to a team effort. There are huge benefits associated with team activities.

Also, some kids just “hang back” more — their personality is a bit shy, or they’re overwhelmed with a lot of noise and activity. That’s OK. You can help them select something that matches their personality.

So, how to balance both sides of the issue? Start with your child. Explain that they need to join something — create a list beforehand of sports activities and clubs that both you and your spouse agree would be good possibilities, and see what interests your child. Perhaps he or she’s just not a team sports guy, so maybe karate would be better for him or her. Other kids who don’t like baseball sometimes like swimming or tennis. Or if he or she’s really not into sports, check out the other clubs available — math clubs, robotics, photography — the sky’s the limit.

 But once your child agrees to follow through on a season, a set of lessons, or an activity, he or she needs to complete the whole series. Make sure he or she knows the rules beforehand, and give him /her lots of support for the steps they’re taking along the way. That way they’ll eventually learn the benefits of sticking with something in order to benefit from it in the long term.

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