The Modern Parent Teaching our children good sportsmanship

Click the link to watch http://wpri.com/2014/04/28/teaching-our-children-good-sportsmanship/

Click the link to watch http://wpri.com/2014/04/28/teaching-our-children-good-sportsmanship/
We live in a day and age where everyone is a “winner.” It doesn’t matter if your child tried out for the game or sport – don’t worry, they are guaranteed to win. The problem is knowing what to do when losing does come up, since children and some adults don’t know how to handle the situation appropriately. During one of the Olympic Games the slogan was “You don’t win silver, you lose a gold.” What does this teach our children? What happened to ‘it’s OK that you did not win, what can you do next time to make the situation better?’ Being a good sport just does not happen. Teaching good sportsmanship starts with basic lessons from the parents. If your child expects a positive outcome from every competitive situation, they will not learn how to handle losing. Coming in second place is still good and it is not the end of the world. Today bad sportsmanship is everywhere, from children’s sports all the way through college. When children play video games or a board game, they’re expected to get instant gratification of winning. So how can a parent instill the importance of good sportsmanship and offset the win-at-all-cost philosophy? There are ways to help your child be a gracious loser and a humble winner, but it starts at home with guidance and by example. Tips: 1.Parents need to not focus on who won the game or contest. Instead, they need to ask if they had fun, and what they liked best about it. This shows your child you are not focused on who won or lost. 2.Do not always let your child win. It is tempting as a parent to let your child win when playing games with them. But let them lose and use this as a teachable moment. 3.Focus on the effort. Teach your child that participating in a game or event is to do their best and to have fun, not just to win. 4.Watching and teaching are great teachable moments. Whether you are watching a sport on television or at an actual event, point out things that happen. Talk to your child and have them point out things that are right and wrong. Listen to how they talk about it and engage in these teachable moments. 5.Be your child’s role model. Refrain from talking bad about players and coaches. Show your child that losing a game is fine and winning can be just as fun. Even though your child is upset they lost, talking it over will help ease this and help them to move forward. 6.When your child gets upset about why they are playing a sport or game, remind them it’s for their enjoyment not to be number one, and that their behavior affects the whole team. A team player shares the responsibility of a win or a loss. Pitfalls when choosing a sport for your child… 1.Parent ego – It is important to remember that you are choosing a sport to suit your child’s needs and not your own. You may have been a star baseball player as a child, but don’t impose those dreams on to your child. That may backfire. They may end up loving baseball just as much as you did or they may not. The point of getting your child involved in sports is to get them involved in fun physical activity that they’re interested in, and not to relive your childhood dream. Keep it fun and let them lead the way. Give your child the opportunity to thrive at something they enjoy doing and are their own choices. This helps to build resilience and self esteem in your child, which are two invaluable skills to continually develop throughout their early years. 2.Try it out – Allow your children to try out a particular sport for one season to see if it is a good fit. Don’t pressure them to continue next season if they have no interest. Instead, encourage them to try something new that maybe more suited to their skill level and talents. Always remember to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. 3.Success – How will you measure success? Is it going to be based on winning or is going to be based on setting goals and completing them? Everybody loves to win, but remember to keep in mind that every game has a winner and a loser. Each outcome comes with a plethora of wonderful learning opportunities for your toddler athlete all the way to your high school level sports. The important thing to remember is that the basics start at home. Even though your child will see and hear bad sportsmanship while growing up, it is our job to show our children it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that’s important.