Remember the times when you and your childhood friends used to play around the neighborhood knowing every single pot hole, hidden passage, and going to a secret hide out? Those days were fun. You and your friends could only enjoy the happy days under the sun and somehow, you feel like your kid's childhood is being robbed by digital time. It's true. We completely know how you feel. Nowadays, technology took the fun out of outdoor games and put it in cyberspace. It may be interesting but it poses a lot of problems like the following:
• Babble Mouth Disease
Did you know that too much exposure to gadgets can really affect the speech development of your kids? We have to admit that we also commit this parenting mistake of letting our toddler play with our phones to keep them from throwing tantrums in public or from bothering us while we do some errands around the house. Sometimes we even let them sit in front of the TV for hours simply because it keeps them away from trouble, right? Truth is, developing brains gets hampered by all this and your child's language development is delayed because of it.
• Brain Drain Effect
As a child, your little one's brain grows up to three times its original size before your baby hits the age of 5. The brain is completely capable of growing on its own without the help of these gadgets. Brain development occurs more with personal interaction and movement. Overexposure to these gadgets actually causes attention deficit, slow cognitive development, and overall impaired learning.
• Couch Potato Syndrome
The worst we've seen technology hit our generation manifests in couch potatoes. Unfortunately, our kid's generation is far worse than that. Your kid will not only be lazy but will depend mostly on gadgets to replace practically anything they consider is fun. Being lazy is one effect, and as a snowball effect leads to your kids getting fat, gaining weight, being less socially available and being more introverted which are characteristics that kids shouldn't have. These things will lead to bullying in all forms including cyber bullying, social impairment and plenty more.
• Cuss Mouth Disorder
Once our kids get hold of a gadget, we no longer have control over what games they play or what things they watch and do. It can be surprising that they even get to discover more things and do more things on your phone than you can do. A lot of these games come with a story especially for RPGs (role playing games—bet you didn't know what RPG was in their vocabulary until now, right?). It involves a lot of cussing, slang, and language jargons that are beyond our imagination. Your kids will even end up talking back to you and leave your jaws apart because of the kind of language your child is using.
• Sleep Anxiety
Games really are addictive and like so many things people can get addicted to, games can really destroy their body clock. Your child might even sneak into the evening stealing your phone or their gadget just so they can get to the next level. It's been shown through research that kids who are addicted to gadgets and online gaming get 40% less sleep even if they're not playing. They end up having sleep deprivation leading to stress, crankiness, poor social interaction, short attentions span, and an endless list of bad things we don't want to talk about.
• Tantrum Malady
This is fairly common for kids who spend a lot of time on gadgets. They suffer significantly in truly expressing themselves in better ways and just end up throwing tantrums. You'll be surprised that your child is overwhelmed by emotions simply because they dropped their juice box, a spoonful of food, or ice cream dropped on the floor, or any small thing that may happen. They bust their frustrations in many things pushing them to have lesser time for the actual goodness of childhood.
You see, we have control over our kids and letting them be attached to gadgets and appliances like the TV is in our hands. Once our kids get addicted to gaming or watching TV, that would be on our heads and not theirs because we let them do it. Here are some reasons why we should let our kids engage in child-friendly sports and away from modern inventions.
7 Reasons Why Kids Should Play Sports
1. I can make friends!
This is one of the things both we and our kids love! The number of friends they make and the number of pictures we take! The great thing about sports for kids is that it cannot be done alone. Even individual kid sports have teams and each team comprises of different kids working altogether to reach one same goal. And one of the great aspects of sports is that you will find your child more socially interactive and less cooped up in their own little world.
Making friends is a good developmental aspect that your child needs to grow into a more sociable and more open-minded person. It is through friends that children become children and it is through friends that children understand more about themselves. Just think about it, you won't be who you are now because of the fun things you and your childhood friends used to do together.
You and your childhood friends are completely happy doing crazy stuff no matter how bad a punishment you get when you go home completely soiled and dirty. The fun, the crazy antics, the punishments are things you all get to experience together and is still experiencing even now with your current friends. Your child need people to grow up with and in the absence of children in the neighborhood, your child can find a friend with the town's basketball court or soccer field.
2. I have less stress!
True enough, sports for children is a major stress reliever. It becomes an avenue for your kids to bust out all the frustrations they have about having a low mark on their homework, failing their math test, making mom get angry for painting on the wall, making dad freak out for scratching the car, and much more. No matter how little it is, a child can easily get stressed and what best way to do it than do sports! Sports allow your child to release all the tension in their bodies by engaging in rigorous exercises and fun activities.
Fun fact: Warm-up alone is enough to release 60% of the stress your body is feeling. So, if you are feeling a bit stressed out, join your kid as they do warm-up exercises and you'll feel a load lighter afterward. Your children will be more carefree and have fewer anger issues and anxiety which is one great reason why kids should play sports.
3. I learn how to work with others!
Individual or team sports, your kid will learn how to work well with other kids whether they like them or not. Teamwork is essential for a healthy social life and your kids will get more than just enjoying their time playing. Team sports are great avenues not just to make friends but to learn how to do things in a team and not to always rely on oneself to get things done.
Kids playing sports teach your child how to compromise. It will also teach your child discipline and self-control and the art of working together. These are aspects of life that are difficult for us to teach our kids, but it’s essential for their growth. And this is one thing that needs a lot of your time, attention, affection, and encouragement.
4. I eat more and play more!
Kids should play sports because it is a way of keeping your child to have a healthy lifestyle. And with an active playful lifestyle, your child eats more and plays more. Your little one has the energy for everything. And with a constantly active lifestyle, your child won't be able to realize it but they are craving healthier stuff over junk food.
Research shows that if you fill a table with healthy snacks and junk food, children with an active lifestyle would lean towards picking healthier food options as compared to children who stay indoors immediately grabbing junk food such as chips and ice cream. It is said that subconsciously, since your child's body requires nutrients from healthy food, the brain tells the body to pick out food as high sources of vitamins and minerals. Hmmm, go figure, right? You can try doing it yourself. Let your kid pick out food from the fridge at any time before enrolling them into sports activities for kids. After a month of enjoyable sports, try to do it again and you'll be quite surprised with the results.
5. I'm having so much fun!
This is practically the one of the many reasons why kids will try sports and will stay in sports—it's a heck of a lot of fun! Who'll ever think that RPGs are more fun than being the center of your own game? Your child is the hero now and he is going to be the one to do the winning shot in real life than in cyber space. Your kid is now leading his own life doing things that he would never have thought he can do because his imagination limited him to cheat codes and repeats once they fail to achieve a mission.
Fun is everything to kids and choosing the right sport is making them realize that they are their own character and that it proves to be more fun and exhilarating. Kids playing sports have lesser frustrations too.
6. I can be myself!
From a gaming addict to a sports athlete, you'll notice a bigger change once your child gets involved in sports for kids that he finds incredibly fun. Your little one will be more like himself, every potential he has will come out whether it be in his grades, his social skills, his artistry, or even in the sport itself. Your child will feel more like himself and the more that you will realize just how great children's sports are.
Children playing sports are more likely to be great at leadership skills because they learn first how to be a member of a team. As they grow older, the push to lead becomes more and more natural. One other great aspect about kids playing sports is the fact that your child grows to become a confident kid.
7. I can push myself to the limit!
Sports also involve tournaments or games against an opposing team. This is a great friendly competition to give kids a bigger goal rather than just playing the sport. Your child will learn how to push his limits and grow stronger. Sports for kids teach children to see beyond what they can do now and reach for a higher goal. Sports can be competitive but with the right mindset and proper coaching, your child will find competitions as a growing curve.
There are more positive effects of sports on kids; however, the problem is choosing the right sport for your child. Another thing to consider is how to encourage your child to play sports at all? Children who are already into gadgets and technology wouldn't want to leave their butts off the couch because they are into their game. How are you going to deal with that?
• Let's go game time via digital time!
If you think your kids have cheat codes, you have one too. If your child is too difficult when it comes to what they want, cheat them into doing something that you want. Use their addiction against them and let your kids start off watching classical movies that involve sports like Karate Kid, Space Jam, Air Bud, and many more! Find something inspiring that your kids may actually want to learn trying this sport out even in his gadget.
• Backyard Practice
Get your kids some basketball hoops, or some toys they can play outdoors. You can start off by actually confiscating their gadget and replace it with a hoverboard, a nerf gun, a walkie talkie, or even a balance bike for your toddler. Once you can get them outside, try and see which catches your little ones interest. Does he like kicking balls, shooting hoops, or running from point A to point B? Just watching your kids alone will give you an idea what he likes. Get your friends to have play dates with your kids as well. Try and gauge if your child is friendly or aggressive with other kids. If your little one is too aggressive, maybe encourage him to do individual sports first.
• Say No to Bench Warmers
The first reason why kids love to play sports is because of the fun. However, the problem is that team sports often have bench warmers. Don't allow your child to sit on the bench in any sport because it will just bust their morale—don't pick a fight with the coach either. Just take your child off the sport and find one that would suit his character even more. We do suggest martial arts and gymnastics as a great starter since these are fun and target each individual in positive ways.
• Find what's fun and available
Of course, enrolling your kids in certain sports need some money. Find a sport kids' love that works well with your effective budget and see which one is available in your town. Don't get too idealistic and find a soccer team in the next town simply because you think it's the best. We have to consider our children's opinions in choosing a sport and never force something on your child. Your little one may have a relapse and end up going back to gaming. Find what is fun for him and focus on that.
In conclusion, let your children be children and involve them in plenty of outdoor activities. Whether it is a sport or simply some fun under the sun, it would give your child time away from the damaging effects of technology. Children sports are meant to create happy healthy children with a great future. Sure, it may just be fun now but you will see how much of a positive a fun sport can do for your kids. So start hiding those gadgets away and let your kids go out and play!