Sue Scheff: Teen Girls and Sports

Keeping your kids busy in a constructive way can help prevent them from getting into trouble.  Encouraging your kids to play sports, enroll in dance classes, join a club or other activities can not only help their self-esteem, it can help with their social skills.

Daughters may be more hesitant to play sports for a variety of reasons, one of which could be embarrassment that they are not good enough. 

What if there were a way to decrease the chances of your teenage daughter becoming pregnant, as well as avoiding a host of other behaviors that have serious risks?  According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, involvement in sports may be the key. – Connect with Kids

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that sports participation and exercise are positive alternatives to risk-taking for girls. Playing sports gives young females independence, status with peers, a chance to make friends, relaxation, weight control and more. According to the CDC, girls who play sports learn the following life skills:

  • Teamwork
  • Goal-setting
  • The experience of success
  • The pursuit of excellence in performance
  • How to deal with failures

As a parent, how can you encourage your teen – male or female – to participate in sports? The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity offers the following advice for keeping your teen interested in sporting activities:

  • Actively support your teens involvement in physical activity. Buy your teen good equipment, watch his or her games and consider volunteering as a coach.
  • Take your teen to the park and be active with him or her. Help your teen learn the fundamental skills of running, throwing, catching and kicking.
  • Be an active role model yourself. Mothers who participate in sports increase their child’s participation rate by 22%. Fathers increase that rate by 11%.
  • Emphasize fun and fitness rather than competition and slimness. Encourage your teen to try a variety of new activities, and help him or her acquire the skills and equipment needed for participation. Consistently offer praise and support to your teen.
  • Introduce your teen to active male and female athletes. Buy sports books about successful male and female athletes. Watch sporting events on television and attend competitions in your community.

Reference: Connect with Kids

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier and safer teens.  Read more – click here.

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