How is this related to parenting? Basically, when we are frustrated, we tend to LECTURE.
Yep, we lecture because their coach should have made better choices...
Guess who is listening to your every word AND quotes you to all their friends the next day?
We lecture because our child lost steam at the end of the game, and wasn't focused...
Guess who already knew that?
We lecture because we remember those days when WE led our team to victories...
Guess who knows that too?
We lecture about those children who are "ball hogs", "too aggressive", "morale busters", etc...
Guess who quotes ALL of of those comments to teammates the next day?
LOSING is an opportunity to discuss VICTORY in life. Ask a lot of questions:
- How are you doing?
- How did you feel about the game today?
- Your coach seemed upset, how do you feel about that?
- I can see you are upset. It seemed like a hard day?
Rather, be a good listener, and remind them how proud you are of them... include a statement like:
"I've noticed when games get tough, you seem to support others. It seems like you are maturing into a fine athlete."
"I've noticed when your team's morale is down, Johnnie seems to boost their spirits...the players seem to appreciate that."
If you need to bring up a touchy subject, maybe you could say:
"I've noticed when your team is down you seem to talk down to them. I wondered what your strategy was with this for your team?"
"I've noticed you were ignoring your coach's requests today... I wonder how he feels about that? I admit I am a little worried about how much he will play you next week."
If your child is defensive to this (which they probably will be) remember not to engage in an argument. Rather, respond to your child like:
"Hmmm, well that is how it looked to me. I sure to love you, and I know you love the game... and that you will make the right choices for your team." Remember to hug them and smile as you talk to them!
The point? They have PLENTY of chances to feel down on themselves. Their peers, teammates, classes... all present challenges and frustrations. We, as parents, NEED to be their safety net. A place for a hug, an ear to listen, a place of REFUGE. I'm convinced keeping a competitive parent QUIET after a tough loss is one of the hardest things to do... (it ranks up there with a teen rolling their eyes - and we want to YELL at them!) :)
As parents, we don't condone disrespectful behavior... but we DON'T need to lecture them through it either. We want them to LEARN how to be a team player, how to think on their OWN two feet. Remember, YOU won't always be there when their team starts losing...
We want to make small deposits in their "Love Account", so when they have LOSER DAYS - they won't "feel" like a loser, AND they won't correlate sports with a negative feeling from their parents.
I hope you have a WINNING day!
Blessings to you!