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Let sports help you save your child from being a couch potato

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How many hours are wasted in front of the television by kids who are bored during the summer months when school is out of session?  Parents often find it difficult to get their couch potato kids out of the house during the hot summer months.  Their kids’ aspirations of earning spending money by mowing lawns or doing other summertime work quickly too often deteriorates into a migration to the couch for three months of watching movies and playing video games.  I’m sure you’ve seen this situation, and if you’re like me, it can be frustrating to see perfectly capable children rot in front of the television.  A great remedy for couch potato kids is to get them involved in sports.

Unless you live in the far reaches of the wilderness, there are normally plenty of opportunities to get your children involved in one sport or another during the summer.  While I was growing up in Florida, there was always a baseball, basketball, or soccer league around with coaches and teammates eager to have another participant them.  My involvement in those teams provides some of my greatest memories as a kid.

If you are unsure of how to find a summertime sport for your kids, I’d suggest first checking with your town or city Parks and Recreation department.  If you have a more competitive child, you can usually find a league that fits his or her situation.  You may have to ask around among your child’s friends’ parents, or you can do a search on the Internet. For more athletic kids, there are sports camps across the country that help participants hone their skills in anything from tennis to basketball to gymnastics.

But what if my child doesn’t like sports?
Obviously all sports aren’t for all people.  Someone who isn’t much interested in getting hit by a baseball might be glad to try a sport where the ball isn’t moving toward him so quickly, like soccer, volleyball, or basketball.  Truthfully, it’s hard for me to imagine a young person who can’t find some kind of sport that motivates him or her to want to improve physically.  If your efforts to motivate your child to play one sport or another are being met with some resistance, encourage him to find one that interests him the most, and help him go after it.  You may have to think outside the box a bit, and possibly look at sports that aren’t as mainstream, such as rock climbing or golf.

An important consideration here is that habits developed in kids have a tendency to stick around in the future.  If you can encourage your kids to get involved in healthy sports and recreational activities now, especially during the summer when their time isn’t consumed with school and other activities, you may be helping them in the future to avoid the health problems that come with sedentary lifestyles.  Participation in sports is also a great way for young people to develop self-confidence, and it contributes to a more developed personality and increased social skills.