By Shawne MacIntyre, Communications Manager for Monaghan Golf Group
As a parent of two littles, I’m always looking for ways to keep their brains and bodies active and counter the addictive allure of the tablet screen. Summer makes it harder than usual because of all that lovely, unstructured free time, competing work schedules and the list of household chores that never seems to get completed.
I’ve found that golf is the perfect antidote to keeping them off the screen and encouraging them to not only move their bodies but use their brain cells at the same time. I’m winning at this parenting thing, right?
Here are some reasons why:
- Outdoors - Countless studies have shown that people belong outside. Fresh air, sunlight and access to nature helps keep depression at bay, promotes mental health and increases happiness. As parents, we don’t need studies to tell us this – it’s evident in the glowing cheeks and deep sleeps we see after the kids have been outside.
- Sportsmanship - This one really appeals to me. Refereeing the fallout of board games between siblings can be exhausting. I know you feel me here. Golf teaches being a ‘good sport’ and kids learn how to handle their less than perfect shots with grace and good nature and to congratulate the winner at the end of a round. Everyone wins from this kind of maturity.
- Manners and Etiquette - Along with sportsmanship, golf also teaches manners. Many courses have a dress code, which brings awareness to self-presentation and grooming. Golf teaches respect while you await others’ turn at the tee with space and silence. Focus, turn-taking and honesty – it’s all part of this game.
- Self-Regulation and Decision Making - As the parent of an emotional, energetic 6-year-old, I greatly appreciate golf’s role in teaching self-regulation. Golf requires loads of patience, commitment to practice and managing outcomes that may not be ideal. It brings awareness to decisions, executions and results. Sign me up. I mean, sign my kid up.
- Social - Golf is a great way for kids to meet new pals. It lays a great foundation for honing social skills, working in a group or team setting and, if you’re even thinking ahead like I am, for handling oneself in business meetings.
- Physical Literacy - Learning hand-eye coordination, a correct grip, an accurate stance and the proper technique for different kinds of swings bringing awareness to how the body moves. There are lots of sports for running and throwing but golf is unique – it combines strategy, physical strength, precision – and can be played on one’s own.
- Fun - Not much needs to be said here. Except a small warning label that golf may become addictive!
- Family Time - In this world of two working parents, after-school care, sports and other enrichment activities, sometimes just being together as a family is overlooked. Golf is a game that can be played with friends, sisters, brothers, cousins, parents and grandparents. We could all use more time together.
See you and the kids on the course!