When you think of kids gymnastics, you probably immediately think about how gymnastics can develop your child’s body and mind. But taking gymnastics classes offers far more than just physical and mental benefits — the benefits of these classes can carry over to your child’s emotional well-being and social skills, too.
Beyond improvements in strength, flexibility, coordination, and overall health, getting your child into gymnastics classes gives your child a place to build solid friendships with kids their own age, not to mention…it’s a whole lot of fun!
Early Childhood Friendships — Why They’re Important
Developing early friendships has a significant impact on your child’s mental and physical health. Researchers have discovered that preschool friendships help kids by increasing a sense of belonging, reducing stress, and helping them build good emotional and social skills.
The friendships your child builds also have an impact on their performance once they’re in school. Kids with good friends usually perform better in school, find it easier to cope with life stress, and they have higher levels of self-esteem.
Establishing friendships early is also important for a child’s mental development. When kids develop friendships at a young age, it gives them valuable contexts in which they’re able to learn and practice skills that are related to communicative, emotional, social, and cognitive development.
Those early friendships may teach your kids:
- How to engage in appropriate conversation
- How to become sensitive to different viewpoints
- Age-appropriate behavior to engage in
How do kids develop these early friendships? It’s important to make sure your child has the chance to engage with other children their own age, so they’re able to build solid relationships.
Additional ways to help your child build social skills and good friendships include:
- Showing your kids friendships in action with your own friends.
- Working with your child to develop positive social skills from a young age. Make sure they learn the importance of sharing, listening, and paying attention to someone else’s feelings.
- Teaching kids icebreakers to help them learn to start fun conversations with other kids.
- Helping them find new areas of interest (like gymnastics) to boost their self-confidence.
- Helping your child find other kids who have similar interests, such as attending a kids gymnastics class.
Building Childhood Friendships Through Gymnastics Classes
Gymnastics classes offer an exciting way for your child to begin making friendships. These classes give kids a great environment where they can be around and interact with other children in their age group. That’s the foundation for developing those important relationships.
Beyond simply offering children opportunities to build friendships, whether they’re stretching to cool down or standing in line to use a balance beam, they also get to work with their peers to achieve their goals. Their classes will give them the chance to work towards their goals together, celebrating their own successes and the achievements of their friends.
Many gymnasts, such as Simone Biles and Amanda Borden, have noted how intense training and practice bring them closer together. Amanda Borden, an Olympic gold medalist, noted that the people she trained with became her best friends and like a second family. These comments are proof that the bonds formed while practicing with friends have the potential to last a lifetime.
Your kids will also learn important skills while taking kids gymnastics that will help them build solid friendships. Children have to develop their listening skills during classes, which are important for good friendships (and for parents, too). They’ll also be learning the importance of perseverance and self-discipline, additional skills that are essential for good relationships.
Just like adult friendships, sometimes your child’s friendships can have ups and downs. Your child may have conflicts with other children because someone is hogging the balance beam or on whose leotard is cuter. This is an important time to teach your child how to resolve conflict and how to think about how their friend could be feeling. These lessons give kids a way to learn that while there are ups and downs in friendships, they can take steps to connect with their friends and make amends to make the friendship even more solid.
Sign Up Your Child for Gymnastics with Lake City Twisters
Good friendships offer so many benefits to your child, both now and in the future. It’s important to give your child the opportunity to make friends, and enrolling them in gymnastics is a great way to do that. At Lake City Twisters, our experienced staff is committed to creating a safe environment for your child to interact with other kids their age while also learning healthy fitness habits. Contact us today to learn more about our classes and get your child on the way to building friendships that can last a lifetime.