Why you should get involved in your children's activities
Taking the time to understand what your child is passionate about may just be the key to a deeper connection.
Our children have a wider array of activities available to them today than ever before. Many kids participate in cricket, gymnastics, drama, Nippers, music, martial arts, and every sport under the sun (often literally) including new ones such as parkour.
Sometimes kids do a heady and hectic combination of these things.
When they arrive home full of excitement about some new achievement or move they finally mastered after weeks of consistent effort, it’s hard not to be excited for them. That’s part of our job description as a parent.
But what if we went one step further? What if we actively got involved with our children’s interests as a way of creating a common interest, thereby encouraging a special bond over this passion of theirs?
Take cricket for example. You don’t need to be the team coach, pepping up the youngsters in their whites before they hit the pitch for their Saturday match, but having the lingo down is a good start. Understanding your ducks from your googlies, and being able tell an LBW from a no-ball is a small way to get involved.
Being able to talk the talk with your child can help them to feel like you are interested and you care about what they are up to.
If you want to take it further still, you could get involved with the team or the club if you have time. It’s about creating those little moments where you can sneak some quality time with your child whilst doing something they enjoy.
You don’t need to know everything inside out or be the parent screaming from the sidelines. It’s about gentle support, familiarising yourself with the rules of play and being around for encouragement whenever you can.
Here’s how you can make the most of their activities.
Chatting in the car
Never underestimate the power of the car chat. Many parents often feel as though their secondary position in the household is as a taxi driver, but the car is actually a brilliant time to chat between the busyness of the day.
Discussing what they hope to achieve out of today’s activity or even sharing what they’re grateful for all encourages your child to share their hopes, fears, and life. Many parents have said that some of the best chats happen in the car (possibly the lack of eye contact makes it a very easy time to shoot the breeze.)
Participating with their team
It’s ok if coaching isn’t your thing, there may be other ways to be involved with the team to show you care.
It may be a simple as you bring some half time oranges, or ensuring everyone is wearing sunscreen. Sports such as cricket can go for a long time so volunteering to make and hand out some healthy snacks to sustain the team while they are off-pitch might also get you some popularity points.
Taking it up too
You may scoff at the idea of taking up Tae Kwon Do, or piano, as an adult however research suggests that adults can help reduce their stress by participating in a hobby.
You may not be in the same class as your child, but you can practice together, share handy hints, and immerse yourselves in a common interest.
To get you started and help you make the most of these little moments, we’ve worked with Rachel from The Unlikely Cricket Mum to develop this Parent’s Guide to Cricket. You can download it below and keep it handy, so when the Saturday afternoon game is finished, you’ll know all the right questions to ask.