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Sports Then and Now

Should You Let Your Kid Start Boxing?

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Martin Banks

Your child expresses an interest in boxing — maybe they saw it on television or heard about an upcoming boxing match.

If you are at least open to the idea, there are a few positive and negative things to consider about your child participating in boxing. Simply put, your child will get hurt in one way or another, as it is part of the sport. The upside is your child will also get to exercise, develop confidence and toughness and gain valuable experiences.

photo: NBC News

photo: NBC News

Expect Injuries

The American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors and parents oppose youth boxing because of the frequency of head injuries and concussions. Head injuries aren’t always inevitable — but being punched in the head is. It stands to reason that head injuries will follow after repeated blows to the head, whether your child wears headgear or not.

Boxers can also get hurt without sustaining a concussion. Damage to the eyes and eye sockets isn’t uncommon. Boxers wear mouth guards, but they can only protect so much. But if your child does lose a tooth or break a jaw, dentists are usually able to handle emergencies pretty easily.

Fighting to Avoid Fighting

Many kids seek boxing to avoid violence. Knowing how to fight can keep you from being a bully’s next target. It’s a common story in boxing. You have a child who is getting picked on or bullied who learns the skill of boxing and becomes a famous professional.

Or take Mike Tyson. Tyson was a violent juvenile delinquent who, with guidance and training from people who cared about him, channeled his violence into a successful career.

It Isn’t All Violence

Fighters fight, to be sure, but there is a lot more to boxing than throwing punches. Boxers work on their speed, flexibility, strength and endurance. They punch at heavy bags and speed bags, which hurt their hands not their heads.

When boxers spar with each other, they are working more on their technique than punching power. They wear protective gear and try out offensive and defensive strategies taught by their mentors.
Boxing Teaches Confidence and Discipline
Participating in any sport will give your child a sense of dedication and commitment. They learn they must show up and give it their all every day to stay in shape and get a competitive advantage over potential opponents. They will learn their sport from an experienced instructor and gain skills and knowledge.

Children can get physically fit from boxing and become more confident in their abilities to defend themselves. With boxing comes a toughness and tenacity they can carry into other aspects of their lives.

Talk to Your Child

Parenting is challenging and often frightening. If the thought of your child boxing sickens you, then express that to your son or daughter. They may not agree with you, but at least they will understand your concerns.

The other option is to let them give it a try. They might enjoy it and stick with it. But after a few punches to the face from an eager opponent, they may realize it isn’t for them. Take all these factors into consideration — then, when you and your child decide, you will make an informed decision.

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