Becoming Good Sports

by Veronica Crockett

Knowing how to be good sports is a good skill for all ages. (Shutterstock)

LEWISTON, Idaho, March 15, 2016  -  We [writing about the K-2 classes] are working hard on good sportsmanship. Learning how to be gracious winners and losers is something even adults struggle with. Some children are by nature calm and easy going, and others not so much, (I can relate to the second category). There are two or three lessons we are focusing on.

A.) It is OK to have a “melt down” if your dog dies, your mom goes to the hospital, or your house burns down. If you get out on first and you thought you probably made it, it is not worth falling apart over.

B.) If you are struggling not to “lose it” during this upsetting event say a quick prayer and ask Jesus to help you, take some deep breathes, and remind yourself, “my dog is not dead!”

Parents can be powerful models of gracious winning or losing, during league sports, table games with the family, even just times for the siblings to share.

It seems to me that even if we raise children who are; on the dean’s list, in the A league, play in the orchestra, etc., etc., if they are unkind, and selfish, we have missed out on what is most important. A week ago, when the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders played kickball during PE with the lower grades, my heart was warmed by a young middle grade student who several times could have easily gotten a little kid, (who was running his heart out), out, but he chose to try a little less than hard to do so. He realized his world would not end if the smaller child made it home, and I am hoping it made him feel as good as it did the teachers to see his kindness.

So if you hear your child muttering about his “dog is not dead,” you will understand.

-- Reprinted from Beacon Bugle, newsletter of Beacon Christian School, March 15, 2016.