Parenting Connection: Good Sportsmanship

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– It’s not uncommon for your children to struggle with disappoint, particularly once they get to the age where competition is everything.

It can get tricky teaching your child good sportsmanship, because you also don’t want to discourage your kids from wanting to play again.

Child development experts say sports and games are major social forces that can help shape the quality and character of kids, but it also can be an opportunity for parents to teach their kids how to handle themselves positively in a difficult situation.

According to experts at Michigan State University’s Extension office, here are some ways grown-ups can teach a child to be a fierce competitor, a good loser, and a graceful winner:

  • Teach sportsmanship. This requires you to demonstrate why it’s important to follow rules, be honest and fair, be well-mannered, and accept outcomes gracefully.
  • Show respect to others. This means no heckling, booing, or making rude or insulting comments to competitors, coaches, or officials.
  • Practice self-control. Games can get emotional, but players need to be taught how to control their emotions and not scream at fellow teammates, opposing players, or damage sporting equipment.
  • Be willing to learn. If your child ends up losing, rather than blaming others or themselves, it’s a perfect time to learn how to get better.

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