Teach Your Child to Be a Good Sport

Team sports are a wonderful opportunity for your child. Not only will they get to be active and showcase their skills, but they’ll also have the chance to learn good sportsmanship and how to work well with others.It’s an essential life skill that helps your child become more responsible, accountable, and humble. If you want to encourage your child to be a good sport, here’s what to do.

Don’t blame and shame for losses
You can’t win all the time, and kids need to learn this lesson. It’s never good to blame a loss on anyone else on the team or sneer at the referee for a call on the play. Knowing how to handle loss with grace is a skill that will serve your child well into adulthood.

Be gracious in victory
It’s an amazing feeling to be a winner. Your child should definitely feel proud and be happy when his team wins. However, cheering and being proud shouldn’t turn into gloating and boasting. Don’t let your child start with the “nah nah nah nah nah” behavior.

Mistakes are for learning
When your child does something deliberately wrong on the field and gets punished for it, like pushing or tripping another player, talk to him about it afterward. Your child should know that being a good sport doesn’t mean harming other players. It pays to play the game well and right.

Effort should be 100%
Encourage your child to give it his all every time. But don’t forget to let him know that even if he does, he still might not win and that’s ok. Children must learn how to handle disappointment and the sooner they learn it, the better off they will be.

Don’t criticize other teammates
No one is perfect, and there will be times when teammates make a mistake. Teach your child how to encourage and build up his teammates instead of tearing them down. After all, you’d want that team spirit to be shown to your child in the same scenario.

Be respectful
Your child should be taught to show respect to everyone on the field. That goes for the officials who call the game to his own teammates and extends to the other team too. As a parent, you should also mirror this, showing respect, politeness, and grace even if you disagree with the outcome. You might have thought the referee made a poor call, but show your child by example how to handle that disappointment. Negative expressions should have no place on the field. They don’t change anything and just make everyone feel bad.

Remember, this is a time of learning and growth for your child. Show him the right way to good sportsmanship and he’ll grow up to be an exemplary adult.