5 Reasons Why Boys Need to Exercise with Their Dads

Portrait of athletic bearded father and his little son ready to

Each week at my gym I run a martial arts class for dads and sons. This has a number of benefits for both dad and son. Both are able to get some physical exercise into their day. Dads hold pads, and can really get behind their son and encourage them to do their best. The kids have such a sense of pride in showing their dads what they can do, and it also facilitates an environment where the son gets some one on one undivided attention from their dad. As a business owner and father of two I am guilty of being pre-occupied when spending time with my children. But engaging in a fun activity for an hour or two really forces you to be present with your child and they seem to thrive on this bonding!

It is now known the importance of boys to bond with their dads or a trusted male figure in their lives. And right from birth dads are being encouraged to engage in physical play with their sons which helps boys develop confidence, motor skills, love and affection. As a martial arts instructor, Physical Education teacher, and a father of 2 young children I have always been interested in ways males can bond with their sons in a physical way and here are the reasons I recommend it:

  1. Increase your son’s confidence – make your son feel like he is the most important person in the world to you and that you are there for him! Kids need to feel loved and like they are important.
  1. Better grades at school– physical play has been shown to have numerous benefits especially for boys. Physical play releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor and stimulates neuron growth within the regions of the brain responsible for memory, learning, language, and logic. Researchers have found that children of the smarter species engage in physical play, so it isn’t surprising that physical play actually boosts school performance.
  1. Be a role model – as parents we have the biggest influence on our kids from the day they are born. We all know the benefits of exercise, and we want what is best for our kids. What better way to encourage them to exercise than to show them what we are doing and making it fun at the same time. When we make exercise a normal and everyday part of our lives this becomes the norm for our kids too and they grow up with the belief that exercise is part of their everyday life.
  1. Increase your son’s emotional intelligence – Physical play helps children develop skills in reading the emotions of others as well as manage their own emotions. This helps prepare them to navigate successfully through the emotional adult world with things such as reading other’s moods and knowing how to be assertive.   Moreover kids learn how to regain self-control, which makes them more confident in their emotional lives.
  1. Bring happiness to their lives – As a species, humans are hard-wired for play so the body and mind are happy when we let it happen. According to studies in neuroscience, when the play circuits in the brains of mammals are activated, they feel joy.

When we as adults model for them how someone bigger and stronger holds back we teach them self-control, fairness, and empathy. We let them win, which gives them confidence and demonstrates that winning isn’t everything. We show them how much can be accomplished by cooperation and how to constructively channel competitive energy so that it doesn’t take over.

These are the main reasons why I think kids grow in confidence by participating in a good martial arts program.

If you would like more information and to find out about classes in your area and how  to choose the best martial arts for your child please visit www.kravmaganorthernbeaches.com.au or email me [email protected]

To book a free class in our Krav Kids Self Defence Program book here http://kravmaganb.wpengine.com/krav-maga-kids/.