Fitness

Coaches And Therapists Address Children’s Need For Physical Activity

Experts agree that bringing your kids into different activities at a young age is essential to discover interests and develop skills. Still, these activities are a gateway to something much more worthwhile.

A therapist, tennis coach, and early education curriculum specialist shared their advice on what’s worth it and what’s not.

Team-Building Should Be The Top Priority During Activities

Donna Whittaker says children should be exposed to as many opportunities as possible early to help them discover interests and develop skills. Still, these exercises are a gateway to something more profound: teamwork and belonging. She says, “It’s about getting your kids to find what makes them happy and what they enjoy doing.”

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Do Not Apply Excessive Pressure

Elementary school activities usually don’t focus on achievement. The founder of Talkspace, Jill Daino, emphasizes the importance of not pushing children too hard. Daino says, “This life period is about exploring, having fun, and building connections.”

Keep The Schedule Simple

Daino says downtime is as crucial to brain development as activities. She says, “Having a packed schedule can be draining and removes space for kids to figure out what they enjoy since they are jumping from activity to activity every day.”

Spending time with friends, reading a book, or even just vegging out with some Minecraft is something you want your kid to do to decompress.

Allow Them To Quit Within Reason

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Your kid can benefit from encouraging them to stick to what they enjoy but need time to improve. Whittaker suggests you stay the course and complete what you originally agreed upon: perhaps a season or a semester. She says, “If your kid is miserable in an activity, none of the skills can be readily learned.”

Can My Child Refuse To Participate In Any Activities?

Emily Oster, an economist, and author, says, “Probably not! She adds that sports participation at an early age leads to a commitment to physical activity in adulthood. Despite this, there’s no evidence that sports can reduce childhood obesity.