This story was produced in partnership with Nickelodeon.
For the 224 NFL players whose fathers also played the game professionally, learning to play (and love) football was likely akin to learning to play (and love) a family business. Unfortunately, watching the game isn’t as cool as playing, and non-NFL dads can face an uphill journey in getting their kids ready for some football.
But just because your kid might not be naturally inclined to learn the intricacies of the Tampa 2 defensive scheme doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to teach them. Here are five reasons sharing your love of football with your kids is a great idea.
1. You Get More Time With Your Kids
The more time you spend with your kids, the better they do in life. This well-evidenced fact means that the more you can bring the kid into your interests, the better. If you’d call an NFL game an interest (we’re guessing you do), think of bringing your kid into the game as good parenting. Whether you’re analyzing the action, bemoaning your head coach’s decision-making, or just laughing at the commercials, there’s no wrong way to watch football as a family.
2. You Might Get Them to Play By the Rules
Football is a game of rules, and seeing their heroes pull off amazing feats while playing within the rules — and their team suffer the consequences of committing penalties — is a good lesson for kids. If Stefon Diggs can make an absolutely insane catch without committing offensive pass interference, your kids can clean their room without just shoving their dirty laundry under the bed.
3. Your Game Day Foods Will Only Improve
Football snacks are the best snacks, and watching the game as a family makes it easier to celebrate with pizza, burgers, wings, or whatever your kids like. We’re not exactly sure why these kid-friendly foods have become the unofficial Sunday menu for football fans everywhere, but we’re not complaining. With your kid in the room? Hey, we’ll have what they’re having.
4. You Will Want to Get Outside More
Kids love to imitate their heroes, so watching Patrick Mahomes evade rushers and pull off a no-look pass down the field is a great way to make them want to hit the gridiron themselves. A family game of two-hand touch at halftime is a good way for parents and kids to burn off some calories, and it can help kids discover the joy of leading an active life like their football heroes do.
5. You Just Started Up a New Family Tradition
Watching the NFL is an activity that lends itself to tradition. Football season is the same time every year, and the games air at the same time every week. That makes it easy to make football a weekly and yearly tradition, and the more family traditions you have the stronger your family unit is.
To help your kids get hyped for football, check out nflnickplay.com. It has plenty of games and information designed to help kids learn the game. And don’t forget to tune into Nickelodeon on January 10th at 4:30/3:30c for the NFC Wild Card game, complete with Nick visuals that will help gain you a football buddy for life.