How to Teach Kids the Positive Rules of the Game
As young athletes across the country and around the world tune in to watch their sports idols go for the Gold at the Olympic Games, it’s a great time to do some training on sportsmanship.
Here are my Top 10 Tips to foster a winning attitude on the field and off:
I bet you know what your children ought to eat. It’s no secret that kids should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lots of variety, and that no one—not even the pickiest person—should subsist on crackers alone. Yes, carrots trump candy. But how do you get a child, whose loyalty to pasta knows no bounds, to even consider eating anything else? That’s the kind of question that trips parents up all the time.
The answer, you may be surprised to learn, is to stop thinking so much about nutrition. Nutrition puts your focus squarely on the food, and that’s not where the problem lies.
You also have to stop looking for the perfect recipe. Trust me, it doesn’t exist. Because even if you could find something your kids would love to eat today, there’s no guarantee that they’ll love—or even eat—it tomorrow. Kids are fickle that way, and that’s the problem.
Why Do Kids Whine & How To Get Them To Stop
Nails on a chalkboard – that’s what it sounds like to a parent when we hear our kids whine. So why do kids whine? In most cases, it’s because we let them.
Yes, kids whine sometimes because they’re overtired or hungry. In these cases, it’s best to comfort your child and tend to her most pressing needs. But otherwise? Walk away.
Why? When kids whine and we respond, we provide a payoff that makes the behavior continue. Kids whine not to be annoying or intentionally irritate us – they’re often just looking for attention.
“Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.” -Gary Smalley
Although it is not easy to admit, I used to criticize my children under the guise of “good intentions.” Whether it was poor posture, unmannerly eating habits, improper grooming, uncoordinated outfits, or a less-than-desired performance in sports or music, I felt the need to constantly correct. I justified the criticism by saying it would help them be more likable … or more successful … or more self-confident. But truthfully, it was all about me. I was concerned about how my children’s behavior or appearance was going to reflect on me. I pushed for perfection because I was overly concerned about what other people were going to think of me, not them.
PUNISHMENT ISN’T THE WAY
We want our children to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. So the natural thought is to send them to the “time out” corner or up to their room to “think about what they’ve done.” Except they don’t. And they’re going to keep doing the same behaviors despite the punishment. So how do you know how to discipline your child?
Often, we equate the term “discipline” with punishment. But the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina,” which means “teaching, learning.” That’s the key to correcting our kids’ behaviors – giving them the tools they need to learn a better behavior. When we discipline in a way meant only to punish and have the child “pay” for their mistake, it doesn’t help our child learn how to make the right choice next time. No one likes being ordered around – punishment can lead to power struggles, and because our kids know this poor behavior gets them attention, they’ll keep doing it.
When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, we can focus on three key areas: giving them the positive attention they need and crave, taking time for training, and setting limits and sticking to them.