From playing Candy Land to organized tee-ball to tag with the neighborhood kids in the back yard, all of our children have opportunities to learn how to be a good sport. It is important that we as parents teach our children how to play fair and how to conduct themselves whether they win or lose.
Most of us have at least a bit of a competitive streak – and it’s always fun to win! Yet learning how to handle the disappointment of losing is part of helping our children mature. Hopefully by working on some basic manners, we can help them (and ourselves) be good sports in whatever game we play, and whether we win or lose.
- Follow the rules of the game. Never take a shortcut or cheat in order to put yourself or your team ahead.
- Play your best for your team. Even if your team is losing by a large margin, never give up or quit participating in the game.
- Refuse to make fun of others who don’t play well or those who are just learning the game. Try to be patient and help them as much as you can.
- Take turns as necessary. Allow others to be first at times and don’t put yourself in front of others who may be waiting to play.
- Respect the coach or instructor. Listen quietly when they are talking and follow the instructions you’re given.
- Should you lose, congratulate the winner with a right attitude.
- If you win, say “Thank you” when congratulated. If others on the opposing team played well, compliment them on their performance.
I’m not as competitive as some people are, but I am amazed at how involved I get when my daughters are playing sports. I have to remember to keep my attitude right so that I don’t set a bad example for them. I hope these few ideas will help us keep our children headed in the right direction when it comes to being a good sport.
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