How to teach your child to be a good sport

How to teach your child to be a good sport

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As soon as kids are able to join in organized sports (age 5 or so), learning how to win and lose gracefully will be important lessons. After all, think of all the adults you know who still don't know how to win or lose with grace!

Still, parents can't expect perfection from kids, even older teens. Losing is painful, and winning is so exciting that it can be hard not to gloat. Nonetheless, children can learn that sportsmanship includes considering other people's feelings.

Etiquette instructor Sheila Greer, who runs the Academy of Social Graces, in Fort Myers, Florida, says she emphasizes to her students that "the point is not to make anyone, winners or losers, feel bad. If you lose, it's okay to feel angry, but you should have dignity and congratulate the winner and shake his hand."

Conversely, if your child is on the winning side, he should congratulate the loser on a game well played and leave it at that.

As a parent on either side you can model good behavior for your child. When you're polite to your child's competitors and their parents, you demonstrate good behavior to your child. And when you congratulate your co-worker after she beats you in tennis at the company picnic, you do the same.

By age 8, many kids can:

  • congratulate the winner of a game – usually with some encouragement from you
  • refrain from making rude remarks to the winner of a game
  • shake the hand of the winner – usually with some encouragement from you
  • congratulate the loser on a game well-played

Watch the video: How To Train Your Baby To Be Super Smart (July 2022).


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