Parenting: When To Enroll Your Child In Gymnastics

Enrolling your child in gymnastics is a great way to encourage physical fitness.

Enrolling your child in a gymnastics class is not as difficult as it may seem. The most difficult decision for any parent would have to be when to get their children started. With parents being naturally protective it is very hard to let your toddler be involved in a sport that could injure them. They never consider that any sport can injure their child including simply playing on a swingset or sliding down a slide. Any sport can have its injuries.

The key to enrolling your child(ren) into gymnastics is to remember that 1) Children are very limber, 2) The less YOU are worried about their bumps and bruises, the less THEY worry about them, and 3) They will have more fun and stick with something longer if you do not force them to practice until they decide it is what they want to do not what you want them to do.

Upon the decision to put your child into gymnastics you will have to take a couple of things into consideration: how old is your child, how limber is he/she, how active are they normally and the size of your child. In all reality it is always best to enroll your child as early as physically and financially possible. The younger they are the easier it is for them to learn the basic moves. Their bodies are more flexible and they will find the tumbling aspect more fun when they are young.

Some other good aspects of learning gymnastics is that the children learn social skills while attending practice. They begin to learn the need for communication, understanding and ability to interact with other age groups. Gymnastics will assist in gaining muscle strength in the major muscle groups, many of which have a hand in good posture. They will also begin to learn good self-discipline and self-esteem.

The best age to start your child would be around the age of 4 years. At this time they have usually learned to follow basic commands and still have considerable flexibility. They have also mastered most of the fine motor skills that will be necessary to perform many of the basic moves in tumbling or gymnastics. They can control their arms and legs, have a good sense of balance and are still enjoying being active.

Although it is best to enroll children at a young age there is really no reason that you cannot enroll an older child. As the children get older it will be a little more difficult for them to learn some moves however this should not impede on their ability to learn.

No matter the age of your child(ren) gymnastics, or any other physical sport, can only be a good thing. Exercise is an important part of growing up and, if you can make it fun and enjoyable the chances of a healthy lifestyle are increased greatly. Whether they stick with gymnastics or move on to other sports does not matter. What those sports do for your children does.

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