Kids and Play –Aren’t they synonymous .They were and not anymore. Play now in the Children’s personal Thesaurus means “virtual play”.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with my friend’s 10 year old son some time back when I asked him “so what sport do you play”. Without blinking an eyelid he said ‘I am a PS3 champ” and “within minutes he can figure out the games in the console” was the proud mother’s declaration.
Limited “living” space, crowded roads, lack of play grounds, working parents, competitive education methods are all the reasons we give to camouflage our inability to show a direction to our kids when it comes to them training for a sport. But when we were kids (couple of decades back) we had to be forced to get back indoors because almost all of us were out on the road playing irrespective of the time of the day or season of the year or our geographical location. There were many handicaps in the system then too though completely different from now but “kids playing outdoors” was a default activity that was done on autopilot. Where has that beautiful scene of kids playing outdoors gone?
But its heart warming and reassuring to know that schools still hold on to scheduled hours dedicated to sport. All Kids irrespective of their opinion on playing a sport, are forced to play in school. My vote goes for this system because we are convinced kids have to play. Period!!!! .
Playing a sport develops the overall personality of a child which they carry into their adulthood and stays with them for a lifetime. It can be a group sport or a sport that show cases their individual talent, skill and capability. Most mothers / parents are very focused on the outcome of his participation in sports activity than the learning from it. The focus should not be in becoming a professional because not all can be big players.
But game, for the many benefits that sport give an individual, every child must play a sport.
If we can list down the benefits not in the order of priority though
Kids who play a sport and love playing that sport when they are in school have a sport to play during their teen age years. This recreational activity keeps them occupied during their teenage years and evidence based studies have inferred that rate of drug and alcohol abuse is low because of their free time spent in sports.
When this hobby spills into their adult life irrespective of the gender , rate of depression can be controlled as adults have an avenue to release their stress and in the bargain get their “feel good” hormones all pumped up
Sport teaches a kid to treat winning and losing objectively and helps in learn coping techniques that no management can teach
Motor skills, spatial learning, coordination , are all the take away for the kids when they play a sport
Kids learn “discipline” and they learn to follow rules in a “fun” way.
Kids learn to adjust, to adapt and to share in this “learning through play” method.
Data reveals that kid’s academic performance increases because of their involvement in sport. “all work and no play makes not just Jack but all dull”
Childhood obesity and juvenile Diabetes leading to lot of health issues in adulthood can be controlled by ensuring that kids participate in a sport.
Sport also works on the self-esteem and image of children.
We are born to play. It is our natural tendency to play a sport. We have been doing it for centuries and so why lose out on it now due to reasons that can be controlled by us. But to make kids play a sport, Parents play a crucial role here.
So let’s not hide behind excuses but see the bigger picture of our child’s life, promote and encourage our kids to play a sport.
At the end Sport is fun. Sport is full of winning and losing. Sport is full of giving in and taking back. Sport is full of pulling up our counterpart when he is down and being pulled up sometimes. Sport is full of sharing and receiving. Sport is full of bricks and brats. Sport is full of discipline and also freedom.
But aren’t these all life’s ingredients??
Well, sport is full of life and life can be made as a sport too!