If you’re a sports family, you understand that watching games offers the sort of mutual interest bonding that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Sports enthusiasm isn’t something that dies out as a child gets older, such as cartoon watching does. It’s something that lasts forever, and as your children become adults they will continue to cheer on their favorite team side-by-side with mom and dad.
According to a UK study, conducted by Freesat and the website RaisingKids.co.uk, families have become so overwhelmed by to-do lists that television has become one of their only opportunities to bond. Over half the study’s participants admitted that “sitting down together in front of the box” was among their best ways of catching up.
Simply put: watching sports actually brings families together for the long term, but how can you inspire your little guy or gal to get into the game?
Don’t Force Sports Watching
Although you’d love your six-year-old to cheer on your local pro sports team, it may not go down like that. He may be distracted by other things, and he may not have the capacity to understand the game. Be encouraging, but don’t be forceful. If you push too hard, your child may grow to resent sports, which kind of eliminates a future of sports bonding. This is true for children of any age.
Here’s some simple ways to help cultivate a love of sports in your little ones:
- Buy branded jerseys, toys, and other items
- Take him to games
- Choose a team together (be patient and understanding if your child picks another team to cheer on)
Siblings Can Inspire a Deep Love of Sports
Children can and will learn from their older siblings, so ask a big brother or sister to help cultivate a love of the game. If your youngest sees the family all-together, sharing in a passion for sports, it’s highly likely he’ll join in. Mommy’s Busy, a fun parenting blog, recommends teaching children the rules of the game, how a team scores, and the “different ways that different sports are played and they can join in with rooting for the home team too.”
The More Programming the Better
It helps if kids have a lot of exposure to games. For example, a family that has NFL Sunday Ticket Max will have more opportunities to watch football games. Thus, it stands to reason, there will be more opportunities to discover a passion for football. More than just cultivating a passion for sports, not missing a game will actually provide more opportunities to just hang out and watch sports together. All-in-all, that’s a great opportunity for bonding over the game, and getting in some family time, which isn’t all that easy with busy schedules.
There’s plenty of advice out there telling parents that too much television is bad, but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to sports viewing. Watching sports together can cultivate a love of fitness, a desire to play on a sports team, and it brings the family unit closer together. There’s nothing wrong with cultivating sports enthusiasm in a family because it’s something that will span generations, and continue to promote healthy bonding.