With school back in session we will go into heavy rotation with practices and games for various sports. We teach our children to be a good sport whcih is a good thing. But we as parents can use a few guidlines too. Below are my top 10 tips of advice on how you can excercise good sports behavior and while setting a good example for your child.
1. Don’t force your child to play. If your child is suffering from pain, injury or they just plain ol’ do not like the game don’t force them to play. Organized sports are meant to help children develop respect, responsibility, fairness and good social skills while having fun. There are several other activities your child can participate in to gain the same discipline.
2. Set positive examples for your child to see. This means your child needs to see you being courteous towards the coaches, parents and other players. Set an example by congratulating the other parents and other players.
3. Avoid shouting directions, instead shout words of encouragement. Unless you are one of the official coaches, you should not be shouting out directions to your child or any others. Allow the coaches to do their job.
4. Address any concerns with coaches or officials privately. Don’t even think of approaching the field or any officials in front of the players or other parents. If you are upset and have a serious concern wait until you have calmed down and choose a time and place that is out of earshot of others.
5. Act as a troubleshooter and potential problem parents. If you see trouble brewing, let someone in charge know. Don’t try to rule an unruly parent; you might just be adding fuel to the fire. As difficult as it may be, try to avoid confrontation at all costs and allow the sports officials deal with problem parents.
6. Don’t try to “Coach through the Coach”. Don’t spend a lot of time talking to the coach about how to conduct plays, training, and sill levels of your child and other players. Just let them do their job.
7. Don’t be so concerned about winning. Rather than dwelling on who won or lost. Talk to your child about their experience with the game. If they have specific concerns about their skills, work with them before the next game without over doing it.
8. Keep comments about your child and other players positive. Don’t bad mouth the other players, their parents, coaches or game officials. Remember you child will learn from your example.
9. Help adopt a “Parent Code of Conduct” if your team doesn’t have one. Talk with the coaches or game officials (in private) and suggest spear heading “Parent Code of Conduct” guidelines that have each parent agree to specific behavior principles.
10. Make it fun; remember it’s only a game. Even if your child is not the team star, just enjoy the game. You’ll only have these moments once. Don’t get so bent out of shape that you forget you are creating memories to look back on. You want these memories to be good ones.
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