Children at a young age (2-6 years) have not yet developed the ability to evaluate criteria and make choices, obviously we are not talking about whether they prefer to drink water or juice or if they like chocolate more than lentils, we refer to things and situations that in the future will develop the children personality and their lives. Sport belongs to this category as it has been proven that its benefits to the physical and mental health of children are very important.
Nevertheless, children may not create criteria tables in their minds that determine their choices, but they receive daily various stimuli that place them in
a pattern of gender stereotypes, in a pattern that distinguishes the girl from the boy and the boy from the girl, what is good to do a girl and what is good to do a
boy, what should a girl play with and what should a boy play with. These messages are received by the child through his environment, school and
family, but also by external factors such as advertisements and toy stores. Toys are the ones with which a child, even from infancy, first comes in contact and spends a lot of time with them. Through play, a child, in addition to the fact that he can spend his time very pleasantly, can also learn from it, as from time to time more and more educational games are created that start even from 9 months. So the world of toys over the years, through toy makers, stores and advertising,
have created an idea that distinguishes girls from boys’ toys. The girls ‘toys are pink and the boys’ toys are blue, the girls play with dolls and kitchen utensils and
the boys play with balls and cars, the girls ‘toys are on the ground floor and the boys’ toys are on the 1st floor, all of which create for the children. Unconsciously,
the image of what is the most appropriate game and with whom they are “allowed” to play according to their gender, an image that they adopt until the
age when they create their own personal point of view. However, stimuli are not criteria either. The child at the age of 2-6 years may not be able to choose based on criteria what is right for it and what is not, but can choose based on stimuli and choices that will be given to the child by the parents.
This is the case with sports. Parents are the ones who will give the first stimulus to the children for their involvement in sports and consequently they can indirectly give them the right to choose, giving them stimuli from different sports. Therefore, the role of parents in the child’s involvement in sports is a catalyst.
THE ROLE OF THE PARENT IN THE CHOICE OF THE CHILD’S SPORT
Parents should consider the many factors involved in their child’s athletic activity. Factors either about the child or about the parents themselves. Let’s look at some of these factors:
- The age. Depending on the age of our child we should choose the appropriate sport for example if we want to turn our child to sports from a very young age (3years) we can not write football or basketball as these sports require other skills.
2. Do we have to think about what sport we are looking for that the child enjoys, an unfulfilled wish of the parent or to find the most “convenient” based on the time and distance of training?
3. Developmental stages or milestones of the child such as
a) it’s physique,
b) it’s motor and mental skills,
c) it’s behavior,
d) it’s psycho-emotional maturity and
e) what are it’s interests
4. If there is a possibility from the parents to commit financially, psychologically and practically to this occupation of the child.
The role of the parent in this path that the child will follow is very important on a psychological level as well. Parents should support the child in his choices, if for example football and basketball have been written and the child finally decides to play only basketball, it would be good to receive a positive response from the parents and support it in this selection. It is helpful not to be critical of a defeat but to try to encourage the child to try and teach them that defeats are acceptable and make you even better. To teach the child how to fight well and to walk together in this path that the child wants to follow …
37 parents participated in an questionnaire with 5 questions from February to July2020
Author of the Article: ASTERI Organization Team