Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sports and Your Child

We know the physical and health benefits of sports, but did you know that sports can also benefit your child psychologically? It’s true!

Socially: When your child is part of a team he creates close bonds with his teammates. These teammates often become his peer group. This peer group is special because it is comprised of individuals with a shared interest. Additionally team sports help him learn how to appropriately interact and cooperate with others toward a common goal. This also helps to promote leadership skills.

Self-Esteem: The peer aspect of a sport helps with self-esteem by giving your child a sense of belonging. Additionally, when she is part of something where her abilities help bring success to a team, this builds self-esteem. When she is on a team she works hard through practice and training and her efforts are recognized. The sport gives her something in which she can be proud and know that her presence on the team is important.

Self Discipline: Sports help children learn self-discipline. The main way to be successful as a member of a team is to be disciplined enough to train and practice. Which leads to the next benefit…

Keeping Out of “Trouble”: Children who play sports are less likely to use drugs or other substances. Why? They understand that these substances may affect their sports performance. The Self-discipline acquired by playing sports helps children recognize that their training will not be effective if they, for example, smoke. Therefore, they are more likely to choose their team and their sport over other “recreational activities”.

Overall Psychological Well Being: Exercise helps relieve stress. What better way to relieve stress than to participate on a sports team! Plus, you have supportive peers around to help your child through tough times and take his mind off of difficult times when needed.

By: Dr. Elise Abromson, Child Psychologist

301-712-9015, Ext 1018

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