Thursday, April 14, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Being model for our kids — Part II

Last week the column focused on the importance of youngsters enjoying their baseball experience.

Let’s continue it this week – all taken from Little League Baseball Inc.

Some parents seem to abandon good principles of child rearing when their child is participating in sports. However, just as your child’s home, school and religious environment affect the type of person he or she will be, so does the sports environment when your child is young.

Remember this:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learned to be apprehensive.
If children live with praise, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they have to have a goal.
If children live with honesty, they learn what trust is.

Here is a list of questions you should consider when your child begins playing Little League. If you can honestly answer yes to each one, you will find little trouble ahead.

  • Can you share your son or daughter?
    • This means trusting the coach to guide your child’s Little League experiences. It means accepting the coach’s authority and the fact that he or she may gain some of your child’s admiration that once was directed toward you.
  • Can you admit your shortcomings?
    • Sometimes we slip up as parents, our emotions causing us to speak before we think. We judge our child too hastily, perhaps only to learn later the child’s actions were justified. It takes character for parents to admit they made a mistake and to discuss it with their child.
  • Can you accept your child’s disappointments?
    • Sometimes being a parent means being a target for a child’s anger and frustration. Accepting your child’s disappointment also means watching your child play poorly during a game when all of his or her friends succeed, or not being embarrassed into anger when your 10-year-old breaks down into tears after a failure. Keeping your frustration in check will help your son or daughter through disappointments.
  • Can you accept your child’s triumphs?
    • This sounds much easier than it often is. Some parents, not realizing it, may become competitive with their daughter or son, especially if the youngster receives considerable recognition. When a child plays well in a game, parents may dwell on minor mistakes, describe how an older brother or sister did even better, or boast about how they played better many years ago.
  • Can you give your child some time?
    • Some parents are very busy, even though they are interested in their child’s participation and want to encourage it. Probably the best solution is never promise more than you can deliver. Ask about your child’s experiences, and make every effort to watch as many games as possible.

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