- Talk to your children about their interests. Find out what sports or physical activities appeal to them.
- Recognize and respect your child's reasons for playing a sport or practising a physical activity. They might want to compete for medals and titles, or simply to have fun and socialize through activity.
- Be positive about your child's efforts, regardless of results. (Research has shown that children retreat from activity when their parents become demanding about results.)
- Support your child's activities as a parent, not as a 24-hour coach. Your role is to help with transportation, good nutrition, rest and a balanced lifestyle.
- For girls 6-8 and boys 6-9, check if your child's activities address the ABCs of athletic development - agility, balance, coordination and speed.
- For girls 8-11 and boys 9-12, identify three sports or physical activities that your child enjoys and focus on those during the course of a year.
- For girls 11-15 and boys 12-16, celebrate it if your child is identified as a special talent, but be cautious about having them specialize in one sport, event or position before age 13-14.
- Be careful your child doesn't over-train or over-compete, as injury and burnout can result.
Adapted from Tips for Parents, Canadian Sport for Life.