Medal-winning athletes are usually hailed as heroes in their respective countries. But the "losers" who are often cast aside and not pictured on headlines also serve an inspiration to families who spectate through their television screens. Maintaining passion and perseverance after experiencing defeat is an essential trait that children need for future success. Sports is a great platform to help your child develop his or her grit.
Here are several tips for parents who want to keep their children sporty while enjoying quality time:
1. Routinely play games at home
Are you already accustomed to hearing your 7-year-old crying for additional TV hours when you get home from work? Well, sparing 30 minutes or so for some quick games every Monday or Thursday night wouldn’t interfere much with your schedule. Some activities you could try are hide-and-seek, treasure hunt, or Twister — which is somewhat a yoga workout. Games could be fun, engaging, and hopefully put your child to sleep faster! For the less active parents, you could try mind sports such as chess or board games.
2. Get involved with clubs, communities and events
Has your child ever asked for your permission to go outdoors to play with his or her friends? Outdoor games such as catching, soccer, and basketball actually directly provide children with the experience of both winning and losing. Get your children involved in community sports events or sporting clubs at his or her school. As children engage and socialize with peers on the same team, they also get the opportunity to develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Charity runs or races, in particular, also help instil fair and competitive spirit in your child.
3. Taking a walk
This may not technically count as sports, but walking the dog — or, perhaps, strolling outdoors in general — serves an invaluable bonding activity for parents and children. Besides boosting physical fitness and health, outdoor walks or runs also provide opportunities for parent-child educational engagements such as learning about different types of animals or even resolving that feud with his or her classmate. To add an element of fun and challenge, consider playing games like "I Spy" with your children while walking around the neighbourhood. You can also have a mini-contest seeing who can first spot particular things (e.g. first person who spots someone wearing a pink top).
Those are just a few of the activities parents could do to foster positive attitudes in their children. Remember - character development is often shaped by engagements and interactions more than gadgets and tools. Success is earned by going through and understanding failure — parents, you reserve a dominant role in instilling such values in your children, especially during their formative years.