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September 19, 2022 4 min read
Getting involved in your child’s interests is a great way to show them you care, and it can have a profoundeffect on their development and self-esteem. Being active in areas like the arts and sports can help children of all ages build skills that help them do better in school, create social connections, and grow confidence, but these interests can also become pretty costly as you start paying for supplies, equipment, and group fees.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can support your child and stay on budget at the same time, starting with reading reviews of the gear your child will need to find the best pieces at the right price. Below,Zensah presents a few tips on how to save money while supporting your child in their chosen activities:
There are many ways to show your child that you care about their interests, but a major one that will stick with them for years to come is a conversation about the meaning of healthy competition. While it’s great to play a game and win, it’s important for kids of all ages to learnhow to handle defeat, learn from their losses, and be a good sport to both their competitors and their teammates. Turning a failure into a learning opportunity will help your child understand the importance of doing so well into adulthood as they begin to navigate their careers and form connections with their peers.
When it comes to learning about healthy competition and good sportsmanship, it can be helpful to take in a live game where you and your child can enjoy your favorite team together. This is a great opportunity to bond with your child and get away from the stresses of work and school at the same time, and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Look for an online ticket broker that offers deals or look for discount nights. It also helps to choose upper-level seats and to opt for minor league teams.
Once a child gets interested in a particular activity, they often want to branch out into other sports or join their friends in playing on more than one team. Not only does this create more costs for you, it amps up the stress factor for both of you, especially during the school year. Talk to your child about narrowing down their interests for the sake of keeping costs in line and how they can try something new next year if they don’t want to pursue their current activity.
If your child wants to get involved in a sport but isn’t sure which direction to go in, try steering them toward an activity that doesn’t require as much gear and equipment as some of the others. Swimming, soccer, and basketball are a few of the best options, and most local parks and public areas offer access to the basic tools your child will need, so they can practice for free. You could even install a soccer or basketball goal at your home without breaking the bank.
No matter what kind of sport your child picks up, it’s inevitable that they’ll need some kind of gear to go with it, whether it’s protective in nature or for the sake of the game itself. Hunting is a perfect example of the type of activity that requires some gear that could be purchased during the off-season in order to save money, from bows and binoculars to warm jackets and reflective safety items.
If you want your child the opportunity to practice their skills at home, it can be wise to make some changes to your backyard. First, remove any obstacles that could get in the way of a perfect game, such as a tree stump or large rocks. If you can’t remove a tree stump yourself, you’ll likely need to call in a pro. The fee for removal of dead trees or stumps can range anywhere from $170 and $522, and the price will depend on the size of the tree, the location and the method of removal. Once you can clear a flat area, set up the space so your child can practice shooting goals or pitching a baseball. You may also want to add some basic training equipment, such as cones or agility ladders, which are fairly inexpensive.
If your child’s chosen sport is an expensive endeavor, sometimes it can help to look for sponsorships from businesses and local entrepreneurs who are willing to help out the team in exchange for their name being visible at games. You might even find a sponsor for your child specifically, especially if they show great aptitude at the game. Getting involved in this way for the team is a great opportunity to make connections, support the coaches, and show your child that their interests matter to you.
Another way to show your child just how much you care is to show up to games prepared to cheer them on, sign up to be the parent who brings drinks and snacks after certain games or even volunteer to be an assistant or coach. While these activities require a little time and effort, showing up to games with your full attention is the perfect way to let your child know how important they are to you, which can help build confidence and self-esteem.
No matter how you choose to support the team, it’s important to get organized in order to stay on top of your responsibilities and to help your child keep their game days straight. Utilize a family calendar app that everyone can use, and maintain communication throughout the week so that every family member knows where and when the activities are.
Helping your child get involved in a sports activity–and getting involved yourself–is a great way to teach them responsibility and the importance of teamwork, and it’s also essential in showing them how to handle failure. By utilizing a few smart moves, you can save money while helping your child reap the benefits of playing an organized sport.
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