Teaching your child good sportsmanship allows them to grow to be a respectful and disciplined adult who can take both winning and losing in stride. A parent’s worst nightmare is seeing their child fight or scream because they lost, or rudely comment to the losing competition if they’ve won. Here’s some tips to helping teach your child good sportsmanship.
5 Tips to Help Teach Your Child Good Sportsmanship
1. Let your child know that it’s completely okay to lose a game.
Losing happens. Your child is easily excitable and of course, wants to win, but that doesn’t always happen. Let your child know that they should keep practicing, and focus on becoming a better competitor. They can always use the experience to evaluate what they need to do in order to improve, and use that as a challenge, rather than focus on the fact that they’ve lost.
2. Teach your child to understand that physical violence is not acceptable behavior during a game or competition.
Sometimes things happen in a game that leave players angry. However, physical violence is never the right solution. Let your child know that such behavior is not acceptable, and what the consequences could be if they resort to fighting.
3. Emphasize that cruel verbal abuse should never be done during a game or competition.
Verbal abuse can be just as bad as physical violence. Examples of this are:
- The child’s team wins, and they pick on the losing team.
- The child’s team loses, and various players say derogatory phrases to the winning team, in order to feel better about losing.
Explain to your child that verbal abuse is not acceptable, and what the consequences could be if caught.
4. Let your child know that it’s okay to be angry or sad over losing, but there’s a better way to handle it.
Your child will most likely vent their anger or sadness to you. Never write their emotions off. Sit down and talk to them. Support your child, but also remind them that you’re proud of them, and to keep doing a great job.
5. Teach your child that the other competitors or team players, are good people, and everyone should be treated with respect.
Sometimes, when your child plays, they forget that the game is not a life or death situation. They pour their time and heart into it, but forget about other people who are doing the same thing. In explaining to your child that being a good sport by being respectful of all players, at all times, will allow them to build friendly relationships amongst the team, as well as other teams.
Are you a parent that has a child playing a game or competing in some activity, and has shown poor sportsmanship? If so, based on your experience, what kind of tips can you add for other parents to teach their child good sportsmanship?
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