When your daughter plays sports it can enhance your family’s dynamics. Sports help teach young girls important skills such as leadership, teamwork and confidence, all of which can lead to higher levels of family satisfaction in both single and dual-parent households.
Sports can foster trust and communication between children and parents by providing opportunities to spend time together and by creating a focal point for conversation. Picking your child up from a game, shuttling them to and from practices, practicing or exercising with them or attending their events can all show your child that you care and allow you to become more involved in your child’s life. Our Go Out and Play study reveals that families reported higher satisfaction as their child’s participation in sports increased, particularly with daughters.
When a child participates in sports and is a part of a single-parent household this can give the parent a feeling of satisfaction knowing that their child is being taken care of and is safe. This can in turn benefit the child by allowing them to foster a relationship with other supportive adults, such as a coach, “team mom” or trainer. In both single and dual-parent households the families are more satisfied when their child is a member of a sports team than when they are not.
Both male and female high school students who were involved in sports tended to rate themselves as being popular and more involved in extra-curricular activities. Playing sports can give youth a strong social network that allows them to develop beneficial social skills to adjust at school better, which can generate a more satisfactory environment at home.
Moreover, girls who play sports report having higher levels of self-esteem and confidence and a more positive body image than girls who do not participate due to sports providing them with a sense of belonging, which flows over into their family relationships. It is important for parents and families to support their children’s sports participation and to encourage their daughters just as much as their sons to be physically active.