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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Being a Good Sport

Being a Good Sport

There are so many things that a parent must teach their children, including how to be optimistic about failures in life, how to be competitive and always strive to win and be the best, as well how to be a good sport. Out of all the things you have to teach your child, this one can be pretty hard because it often causes the child to have to face themselves when they didn't do as well as they wish.

It is an important thing to teach your child, however, because it carries over into everything; it's not just about sports. For most children the first time they are really exposed to a situation where someone may have proven themselves to be better than your child is during their first sport season. Whether it's another person on your child's team, or the opposing team who beat your child, during this time, your child will be forced to face being outdone in some form or another.

This gives the parent ample opportunity to begin teaching their children at an early age how important it is to always be a good sport. Many youth sports programs have started helping out with this, as well. Often, sports like soccer and t-ball for the first year or two don't keep score during any of the games. They do this to take the pressure off the children and allow them to focus on having fun, not winning or losing.

Since they are never aware of whether they win or lost, and they have no idea who scored the most points, stopped the other team from scoring, etc. it makes it a lot easier for the parent to help them be happy with the game no matter what the results.

This can be a good start to having a child who is a good sport. If your child's team doesn't do this, or if your child didn't play any sports early enough to get this benefit, there is still hope. While you will, of course, want to get your child to always try their hardest and be their best, they must be able to accept any failure when it comes, as well. One of the best ways to do this is to not put too much pressure on your child. Always emphasize for them to go out there and have fun, not to go out there and win. As they get older, and have already developed good sportsmanship, you can switch the focus, but you should still never act disappointed in your child if they or their team didn't do as well as you hoped. Putting this kind of pressure on your child can only lead to them putting more pressure on themselves, and they will no longer care about being a good sport.

Another aspect of good sportsmanship that must be addressed is when your child wins. Many children, especially when you have a whole team full of kids together, will like to run it in the losing team's face. You should teach your child, just as you teach them how to lose gracefully, that there is a way to win gracefully. Remind them that the people they beat are kids just like they are, and that they wouldn't want to lose and have to face a taunting winning team.
Point out the good things that the other team did, and show your child that, while it is important who win or lost, it's not everything, and it shouldn't get in the way of their normal behavior towards other people.

Copyright 2013. All educational materials are the sole property of Kid First Internet and are available for the benefit of our parents. Duplication or use of any material requires the express consent of Kids First Internet.

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