The I AM Foundation shares this post with you today as an idea to help build self-esteem and self-confidence in your child.
Introducing Golf to Your Child
And the impact it can have!
One of the great things about parenting and fatherhood/motherhood is introducing new activities to your child or children. Young children who bond with their father/mother during their younger years are much more likely to grow up to be happy, confident, well-adjusted individuals. Interacting with your children builds a bond that will last forever. It lets the child know he or she is loved and appreciated. It opens the door for sharing problems and concerns when the need arises. It helps the parent get to know and understand the uniqueness of each child. It is also happens to be a great stress reducer for overworked parents. And in today’s environment that is extremely important for creating the ever illusive balance in life that many parents strive to achieve.
Family activities are great for the whole family. They help develop strong family bonds which can last a lifetime. It can be said that a family who plays together stays together. They also are more cooperative, supportive and have open communication. These qualities pay off in big dividends by increasing self-esteem, social skills and a sense of connectedness that helps kids and teens use good judgment when confronted with difficulties and temptations later on in life.
There are many statistics to back up the need for a strong father/mother-child relationship; this article focuses on the ways that you can create that bond by introducing your child to golf.
When is it the right time to introduce golf to your child? Believe it or not, it can begin as early as a year old in their toddler stage. Videos such as Sportybaby Golf or Baby Golf build a solid foundation for beginning the golf learning process. Another very effective approach is to read golf books to your child. Books such as The ABC’s of Golf, Count on Golf and Confident Golf by Susan Greene not only introduce golf but allow you to build a strong reading foundation that can last a life time. As your child gets older you can introduce them to plastic clubs and plastic balls which you can buy at any one of the large retail chains or online.
Inevitable the situation will arise where your child may have no interest in your passion, in this case golf. So what do you do now? The important thing is not to force it upon them, slowly introduce it again and again, inadvertently pick up the plastic clubs, be playful with you child, hit balls around and make up games and just enjoy the time with your child.
The critical aspect to this is to make sure you are having fun during your interaction. Children are easily imprinted, they don’t necessarily make an association with the event (golf in this case) being fun at first, but more importantly with how much fun they are having with the father/mother during this time, then comes the association with the activity and the fun it brings after wards. Bingo, you have successfully introduced golf to your child. Remember, as soon as your child stops having fun with the activity you run the risk of loosing them no matter what the activity is.
During the introduction process always use word of encouragement, no matter what the circumstances may be. Always focus on the things that your child is doing right and then reinforce it! That is how you build confidence, by building up and not tearing down. Cowards tear people down, winners build them up! This encouragement can come in various forms. For starters, it is important to instill the confidence into your child’s mind that he can learn the game and has potential to become good at it. Your job is to encourage them to play no matter how bad they may seem, as long as they still show signs of enthusiasm toward their actions.
As your child gets older you can introduce them to more advanced equipment and teaching systems such as SNAG Golf. This is in my estimation is one of the best ways to build a solid golfing foundation, it is outstanding equipment to learn the fundamentals of golf from. Then as they progress along you can move to more advanced equipment with real balls. Take them along with you to the practice green, driving range, to your course, and if your course allows it, have them go in the cart with, they LOVE that!
Children learn by imitation, so encourage watching a PGA or LPGA events on TV. If you should have a tour event in your local area, take them to the tournament. The crowds and excitement of big time golf are a great enticement for a young child’s imagination.
Once a strong foundation has been built, you can enroll them into junior clinics that are located all over the country. Find a certified teaching professional who understand the golf swing, and especially how to teach children, and buy a lesson package. For the truly dedicated parent you can build your own home practice facility with a green, bunker and chipping area. I have an artificial green and sand bunker which has provided hours of fun for both my children.
The most important thing about this process is to keep it fun and always make it enjoyable. Stay in the moment and leave all your frustrations behind that the day brings, before you know it they will have grown up and moved out. So use golf as a vehicle to teach life skills and to build a strong parent/child bond! Golf is a lifelong journey, never a destination.
Remember to have fun!