Teaching Good Sportsmanship In Children

Today, it is the ‘winning is everything’ policy that is considered the most important aspect of life.

Most parents seem to teach their children today that winning the game is more important than simply participating in it, and that if you don’t win, then you will be considered the worst type of loser.

This philosophy extends into sports, and every other activity of the child and it is high time parents, teachers, coaches, and children sat up and took notice of this growing menace.sportsmanship

Every time one switch on the TV to watch a game being played, one cannot help but notice the outrageous and unseemly behavior that the sportsperson display at every opportunity, including obscene gestures, using curse words, and grimacing and threatening the referees.

These are all examples of poor sportsmanship, and most parents fail to warn their children that this is not what they want their children to emulate.

Furthermore, parents fail to teach their children the true spirit of sportsmanship, and this naturally results in children developing poor sportsmanship skills.

If you are a worried parent or a teacher, here are some tips for you on how to develop good sportsmanship spirit in your child:

  • Try your best to act as the role model for your child. By this, you must never curse or berate any sportsperson for whatever reason when your child is close by, and rather, you must praise the person, whether he wins or loses. This will make your child come to the conclusion that all sportspersons deserve to be applauded for playing so well and that being sportive and exhibiting good sportsmanship can be an extremely desirable trait.
  • Make sure your child knows all you need from him is that he develops good self confidence, self esteem and coordination, and not that he has to compete against another child to ‘win’.
  • If you happen to notice your child or his friends in a group laughing and criticizing one particular player or a team, make sure you stop such behavior immediately. Also make sure your child knows that you condemn this behavior, and that this will not be considered good sportsmanship. Also ask him to put himself in that player’s place for a second, and think about how he feels.
  • Make sure you have told your child that you expect him to be a responsible person, and that you will not tolerate any unsportsmanlike behavior from him or from his group of friends. Having to stand up to your expectations will inculcate in your child the true spirit of sportsmanship, and it is up to you to make sure he retains this spirit for all sports and for all sportspersons.

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