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Good Sportsmanship for kids

Three young boys showing good sportsmanship at a football game.
Girls Good Sportsmanship

Good Sportsmanship

Opportunities for participating in organized sports for young children are everywhere.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a game and put winning above other benefits  However, these other benefits are likely more important that the score of a soccer game between two teams of seven year olds. For example, whether the team wins or loses, children can learn about about teamwork and good sportsmanship with every game. Kids who do not play to their expectations – or parents who are particularly critical of their child’s performance – can easily forget this. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives – parents, coaches, teachers…From these figures they hopefully learn that in friendly games, winning is second to fun, and that there is a particular finesse to handling a loss. Organized sports are crucial in teaching your child how not to be a “sore loser.”

It can be tough losing a close or important game and knowing that the right thing to do is congratulate the opposing team teaches sportsmanship and that one does not “win” every time. Moments like these may present themselves in years to come, and likely not in sports-related situations.  Knowing how to handle them will be important–and knowing that if things don’t go well, one can try better going forward will also be important. Young sports bullies are likely to behave the same in the classroom or in social situations, while a child with good sportsmanship will carry that respect into other situations.

How can you help? As your child progresses into more competitive leagues, it will be easy for them to forget that it is not all about the win. They forget to have fun. They need constant reminders and good examples, or they may forget what behavior is appropriate before, during, and after a sporting event. It is important for you to see winning as just one of the several goals you’d like your child to reach. While it is important for your young athlete to take pride in his or her accomplishments and to improve their own sports skills, good sportsmanship is another quality that can be honed by kids’ sports.

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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