Parents often wonder how they can encourage their young daughters to become active in sports and fitness activities. With all of the recent attention to the substantial benefits derived from participation in sports, moms and dads are more eager than ever to assure that their daughters are involved. But how do you encourage your daughter to commit to becoming active, especially if their minds and/or bodies are less than willing and the excuses prolific?
Parents also face a contrasting situation when they have daughters who could (and try to) spend most if not all of their waking moments playing sports. Such an addiction oftentimes leaves parents complaining that they miss out on quality time with their daughters. As one parent recently said to me, “the carpools back and forth hardly allow me that bonding time I used to have with her when she was little.”
What is a parent to do? Interestingly, both situations call for a common plan of action: Build in together time that includes the driveway, backyard, gym, park, pool, etc. In other words, GO ENJOY WITH HER. For the apathetic daughter, you may be able to make the experience pleasant enough that she no longer dreads the activity. For the hooked athlete, you will appreciate the quality time.
So after polling parents who have endured both situations and throwing in a few of my own, I present a recommended list of ways to promote or join in the sports and fitness fun: