How Sports Can Help Your Foster Child
With the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games having finished, it’s a good time to discover how playing a sport can benefit your foster child (can I foster).
Playing Sports can be fun
To witness a child playing a sport, whatever it may be, with a big smile on their face, is quite possibly the main benefit. Having fun and being happy reduces stress and enhances creativity.
Encouraging a child to participate in sports from a young age can develop the habit of exercising and reduce the risk of obesity and its associated problems. Obese youth are more likely to become obese adults and therefore face the increased risk of heart disease, type two diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.
Being part of a Team
Playing a team sport gives a child the opportunity to develop teamwork skills as well as leadership skills, both of which will be integral in adult life. Interacting with other children can also help shy children to make friends and enjoy their social life.
Sport builds discipline and responsibility when kids have to go to practice and meet their commitments even when they no longer feel like doing so. But at one point or another, most kids are going to stop playing a sport. This gives the child the opportunity to learn the difference between quitting and ending. Quitting is giving up on something in the middle, often in frustration, anger or fear. Ending, however, is deciding something no longer fits our needs and unwinding from that responsibility in a manner that honours our commitments and relationships. These are valuable conversations and lessons that will truly benefit a child.
Another benefit to playing sports is that it can improve a child’s emotional state. Children in care have often not been given the appropriate support at the start of their lives that every child deserves. Encouragement and praise from you as their foster parent (why foster?) may not seem like much, but it is likely to increase both their confidence and self-esteem.
A Different kind of Sport
Finally, it is important to note that every child is different and what interests one child will not always interest another. If your foster child doesn’t find a sport that appeals to them, help them to find a hobby that does. The possibilities are endless!