Here are some Tips to Encourage Good Sportsmanship into your child
My parents used to praise me how well I danced. ‘Like Madhuri Dixit’, they used to say. There was no competition, no peer pressure. I danced, and they praised me. I developed passion for dancing, because somewhere within, I knew I was a good dancer. I learnt classical and western forms of dancing. I have excelled every time. I have enjoyed my 25 years of dancing.
Today when I have my own children, I feel like doing the best for them. ‘BEST’ that word then reminds of those parents whom I see every day.
• Parents who overly invest for their kids to excel.
• Parents who have a vicarious interest in the child’s performance because their own needs to be competent in a sport are unmet.
• Parents who live their lives through their children, for social identity and self-esteem through the game.
• Parents who compare children and see parenting as an ego thing.
• Parents who see their children as trophies.
• Parents who become ‘Ugly’.
The Ugly parent :
1) Engages in verbal abuse (some show physical abuse) at youth sporting events, shouting at the child to win the game.
2) Is aggressive towards the sport coach for not showing results in the child.
3) Has ‘a win at all cost’ attitude which leads to negative behaviour including abusive criticism of umpires, arguments between spectators and unsupportive comments to players.
Unfortunately what we don’t see is the embarrassment and psychological distress this can place on the child.
We want kids to stay in sport because it is so beneficial for them. It gives them the structure they need, to be successful in life and to be healthy active adults.
Tips to Encourage Good Sportsmanship into your child:
1) International level of ability should not be expected from the child at inter-school sport.
2) Let the child enjoy his sport, make mistakes and learn from them. Make youth sports fun for the child.
3) Participating in the game is more important than winning the game.
4) Provide positive support, care and encouragement to your child for participating in the sport.
5) Support coaches and officials working with the child, in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all.
6) Place the emotional and physical wellbeing of the child ahead of your personal desire to win.
7) Praise your child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make him feel like a winner every time.
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