Why do some children dislike sports? How can parents encourage basic physical fitness?

2019.04.12

Just like adults some children are better at sports than others.
If parents understand why their child dislikes sports and exercise, it will be easier for them to find a solution.
In this article we will go over some reasons why children dislike sports and exercise and what parents can do to encourage basic physical fitness.

Why do some children dislike sports? How can parents encourage basic physical fitness?
Why do some children dislike sports and exercise?

They don’t like to be compared to others
Most children like moving their bodies. However, when they begin kindergarten or daycare, adults often see a difference in athletic ability.
During PE classes and recess at kindergartens and daycares, children are often compared with each other regarding athletic ability.
This causes the children who are not as good at sports to dislike doing them.

When they hear teachers or parents say “you should try harder”, these children feel that they are not being respected for their current abilities even though they are trying their best.

They don’t like exercise very much
Some children just don’t like sports and exercise. They would rather watch other people doing sports or do creative activities with friends or on their own. This doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with their bodies.
If you force these children to do sports or exercise, they will only form negative feelings toward these activities.
This may lead them to have trouble focusing on moving their bodies and cause injuries.

If your child is not interested in sports, it is important that you make the activities as fun as possible and not push them.

They have experienced getting scolded for not doing well in sports
Children want to feel respected by their parents and other adults. They often do not know how to let things go and try their best at whatever they do.
If you scold them for not doing well, they will begin to feel that they cannot make a mistake.
If they continue to have this mindset, it will affect how their body moves and they will end up disliking sports and exercise in general.

How parents can support their child who dislikes sports

Praise them for trying their best There are many forms of exercise and moving one’s body.
Try to find at least one type of exercise/sport that your child likes, such as soccer or dance.
And when you see them performing the activity, praise them for trying their best no matter how they do.

Play sports with them
Enjoy sports and exercise as a family.
When the weather is bad, find something that you can do as a family indoors.
Playing sports together will help your child gain confidence and overcome their fear of exercise and sports.

Suggest they take sports lessons
Nowadays, there are classes for young child that cover most sports, such as soccer, dance and baseball. By participating in these classes, your child will gain an interest in exercise and sports while having fun with his/her friends.
There are even one day workshops you can try before committing to a regular class.

Exercise is important for your child’s mind and body. If you are worried that you child does not like sports and exercise, try enrolling them in a class that makes doing these activities fun.
Make sure to praise them for trying hard no matter what the results.

How parents can support their child who dislikes sports
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