Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Parent to Parent: Sportsmanship
It is one area where parents strike out. We teach our children soccer, baseball, gymnastics. But we don't teach them sportsmanship. In tonight's Parent To Parent, Dr. Valerie shows us how to coach our kids to be winners regardless of the score.
WSVN --It happens in the pros, in college, even in high school -- brawls break out, turning competition into chaos.
And it's not just the players, parents can get rowdy too.
Sarah: "They scream."
Ten-year-old twins Sarah and Danielle see it happen every week at their basketball games. But mom Laurie is trying to teach them good sportsmanship is part of playing a great game.
Laurie: "I want them to do the best, and I've always taught them to compete with yourself, not with anyone else."
7 News' parenting expert Dr. Valerie agrees.
She says children need to be taught the rules of the game and the rules of behavior, and it all starts with setting a good example.
Dr. Valerie: "The parents are the ones that are setting the model for being a good sport."
Parents can also help by setting realistic goals.
Don't push your kid to be a pro, and don't push your kid to join a high level travel team. They often cause early burn out.
Dr. Valerie: "What you can do is set up a situation for your child where they feel like a winner. Even when they lose a game, they have had a great time playing."
Of course, your child also needs to learn how to lose.
Make sure you don't assert a winning-at-all-cost attitude. When the game's over, teach them to congratulate their opponent and be proud of how they performed.
Dr. Valerie: "You teach your child how to deal with it effectively, but it's not by yelling at the coach or calling names from the sidelines. That doesn't show your child anything but bad sportsmanship."
If your child does demonstrate bad sportsmanship, discuss it with them privately. Focus on having fun, and remind them that plenty of games have been lost because of unsportsmanlike conduct.
The twins are improving their skills everyday. But mom has one more rule. She says they can't hit the court until they hit the books.
Laurie: "Stay and keep them focused on positives."
Dr. Valerie has one more suggestion. If you do have concerns for the coach, do it privately, away from the team.
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode
7711 SW 62 Ave.
Miami, FL 33143