Youth Sports are Important for Parents too!

“As parents, we often think of youth sports as organized events. I think the more important ones, may be the unorganized variety.”

Summer time is here and it is, as usual, crazy busy! Throw in a PCS or deployment for you and it is just gets worse. Finding time for all the unit events, saying good bye a million times (or at least a few) to good friends or acquaintances, making friends at your new location, finding time for a vacation, finding a new spouse job – yep, the head starts to spin a bit! But what about the smaller people version? They go through a lot as military brats and sometimes we forget how much they need fun activity like sports to grow.

Working their way into a new school, making those new friends and connections and opening all those new doors or maybe welcoming new friends and showing them the doors can be a challenge! Summer is busy; but military families need to find a healthy outlet for exercise and for our kids it is often youth friendly sports! I love youth sports for many reasons – I prefer them in fact, to the pros. The exuberance, the learning, the bugs found in the outfield, the family times, growing and learning at each level are critical to the development of our youth! Not to mention, the health issues of which we are all aware.  Too much screen time, sitting bored in the house and snacking have left many of our children over weight and potential early victims of diabetes.

Last week we had the opportunity to spend five days with some of our grandkids while their parents were traveling.  We did some things I have not done in a very long time! I went to a coach pitch baseball game, rode a bike with an almost two year old on the back in a child seat, washed two cars with grandson help, mowed a lawn with a push mower, swam in a pool while holding a youngster on my hip, walked around the block with three kids, played catch in the backyard so many times I lost count, protected my face from unexpected kicks, throws, etc. It was quite the adventure as grandparents. The kids had fun, grandpa and grandma learned we are not as flexible as we used to be, but we could do many things we had thought maybe were not possible. Last night we even played a bit of basketball!

As parents, we often think of youth sports as organized events. I think the more important ones, may be the unorganized variety. The backyard games, adult neighbor time outside supervising the neighborhood kids on the monkey bars at the local playground, a push on a swing, a bike ride as a family, walks in the park to a favorite picnic site, a day at the zoo, trips to the base or neighborhood pool and many more unique opportunities that can lead to good health and strength for your kids. Plus, the adults get so much from the exercise as well! So take the time to look around and find a way to get the kids outside and help you as well! It is good for the kids, the parents and the country as a whole! So get out and move it, move it!

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Col K is the proud father of 3 and grandfather of 10 who relocated 18 times during his 30 years on active duty. He writes for as a continuation of his appreciation of the military community. You can read additional blogs from him by clicking here: MilAve Col K

Photo Credit:  MilitaryAvenuebyColonel KonWednesday, June 27, 2012Military Life:,,,,,,

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