Youth is a time of imagination and play and prepares youngsters to manage their lives more successfully as adults. Most adults see play time as something less productive, however your child needs to act out and practice the tasks and activities in their own unique way. Their budding sense of individuality gives them purpose and drive which they wouldn’t have if they were a carbon copy of other kids.
Kids need to establish an identity that is unique and meaningful in terms of their own lives yet it still needs to be relevant to society and their own peer group. You establish the context for their lives and it’s a unique context, whether you live in Dallas, New York, Miami or Detroit. The sports your kids play from bicycling, to basketball, baseball or football, creates the context for which they’ll have time and opportunity to use their imagination and achieve something meaningful, even if it is symbolic. Imagination and even spirit doesn’t evolve from nothing. It requires something to make it happen and make it meaningful. Without a football and teams playing the sport, there won’t be cheering fans and adoring parents in the bleachers. And with people, the context for community and family spirit is much deeper and complex. For kids, identification with sports players is simple and straightforward and allows them to identify with other inspiring people later in their lives.
Catching a football may not seem too important to most adults but for a boy, it is a test of their physical coordination and sense of achievement. Their need for confidence demands the development of skills, and for kids, physical coordination and overcoming fear are two big challenges they want to successfully achieve.
If you could view a child’s imagination when they catch a football or hit a baseball, you’d see more than hands receiving a ball or the ball flying through the air. There are an additional complex of images such as other kids present, fans cheering, scoreboards, and admiring parents glowing in the glory of their big play. So the emotional and mental aspects of your childs play activities is very important. Without it, these physical skills and the drive to accomplish and succeed may not be there. Competitiveness has to be kept under reign but if a child can’t identify with a reason to succeed, they will probably not do as well as other kids with fuelled imaginations.
We all frown on materialism or the idea that we need the merchandise from NFL football or NCAA football teams to provide inspiration to cheer during football games or any other sporting event for that matter. Perhaps because of how advertising is done today, people sense that it’s not about the kids, it’s about NFL profits and broadcasters need for more ad revenue. It kind of sours the feeling of camaraderie of a community or even boys cheering for a particular NFL or NCAA football team. You need to look beyond the motivations of corporations and recognize that donning your favourite player’s number is not overdoing it and actually makes the sport more enjoyable.
You as a parent can still shape the imagination of your child and use football merchandise to do it such as kids football uniform sets, hats, plastic helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, pants, and even funny fan faces. Your child will only pick up on the idea that they’re doing something fun and that learning to catch and throw a football can be a fun activity to do with other kids their age. It’s not about idolizing players or increasing NFL football team product sales, it’s about giving meaning to a sporting activity which keeps them healthy and active. Without this sort of inspiration, there is little reason to catch or throw a football. That is why some people don’t watch or participate in sports such as football. There is no context to give it meaning. By introducing big league oversized football to your child, they will understand the culture of the game, its history, the players involved, the challenges of playing a team sport, and an awareness of the world outside of your city.
If dad cheers for a particular team such as the Dallas Cowboys or New England Patriots, then his son will be able to share in the spirit of it. With all these images in his head, he is going to be motivated to do well. It’s the same for any other activity a child takes part in. If their imagination is strong, they are going to learn faster and be more successful. It’s all in the context the parent creates.
So, rather than a wasteful outburst of physical energy, your child’s play time is actually preparing them for a more successful adjustment to life. Many parent’s first response to buying a child a baseball cap or a football jersey, is “my child doesn’t need it. He’ll do fine without.” Now you know those children that go without don’t do as well, and many end up wanting those football apparel items too much. Aside from peer pressure and the need to belong, they just want to feel special and attached to an inspiring idea.
The great thing about kids football apparel such as jerseys, pants, helmets, and pants are that they’re very inexpensive. Some youth football uniforms can cost less than $ 40 and some may even double as pajamas and Halloween costumes. You can even buy shoulder pads for an extra small amount. The overall value then is very good with these youth football merchandise. And play time in the backyard or just walking to the mall takes on a whole new meaning for them when they’re wearing their football jersey or uniform.
It’s all just for play, but play and fantasy are a very important part of your child’s development. A little outside help in the form of jerseys, caps, helmets, can go a long way to helping them learn spirit, team identification, desire to achieve, desire to conform, and yet still build self-confidence and independence. And with their new Halloween costume, they’re going to have a lot of fun this Hallow’s eve.
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