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Using Sports To Share Life Lessons With Your Child

By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 10   |   Comments: 0

Common ground

Sports are an integral part of life for millions of people, both adults as well as children. Countless people cheer for their favorite professional sports teams and follow their success, as well as their failures, with almost religious zeal. Parents often take a vested interest in their children's sports activities through the community or in school.

Sports are one of the most popular commonly shared activities between parents and children and as children grow up, this common ground is often the single most important aspect of the relationship when adolescence kicks in.

A method of teaching

Yet many parents don't realize the power sports have in teaching many of life's most valuable lessons to their children. Kids head off to school for an education in science, history, English, and more, and then participate in sports as an €˜extra-curricular' activity. If we look a bit closer, it's easy to see how important sports can be in teaching these life lessons.

Sports are about competition at its core. As children mature, the focus on sports shifts from being all about fun and exercise to about winning and competing. Adults face this same level of competition through their collegiate careers, their jobs, and even sometimes in their family dynamics.

How a child perceives competition, winning and losing, and even teamwork, will often establish their behaviors later in life. When children are taught that winning is the most important factor of competition, they can develop a warped sense of right and wrong. Some coaches are prone to encourage cheating if it means winning. Steroid use in teenagers has become a major issue in high schools across the country.

Drawing boundaries

Parents can easily become caught up in the desire to win as some teams do well and gain regional attention. When we teach our children that winning is the only thing that matters in sports, they begin to demand it from other aspects of their life as well. While this isn't a negative aspect, the methods by which they try to achieve those wins can be.

Teaching children that winning is a great benefit but not the most important facet of competition, we can then steer their focus to working hard, devoting their attention to their goals, yet maintaining their dignity and self respect. Never should cheating or cutting corners be excused when they help a child win.

Boundaries in life are important not only for societal unity but also in helping children become well-adjusted and happy adults. Sports offer some of the most valuable opportunities to teach children these boundaries and lessons. It's important not to forget this valuable classroom on the field, or the court.

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