Your kid loves sports, but hates losing. How can you teach him about sportsmanship?

How can you teach him about sportsmanship

Sports do not only keep children healthy, it can also aid in developing physical skills through activities such as running, jumping and hopping. In addition to physical wellness, sports can be a confidence booster and equips children with problem-solving skills. It also develops their soft skills for social interaction; enabling them to make friends.

See also: How to develop children’s motor and sports skills

While sports is a fun and enjoyable activity for children, winning and losing is an inevitable aspect that comes with it. It’s important that good sportsmanship is fostered in order to help children cope if they lose a game. A good sense of sportsmanship will become the basis of their attitude and behaviour as adults.

Parents can help to foster a good attitude towards losing by sharing with their children that in all games, there will always be a good winner, and a better loser. Here are attributions of good winners and better losers that you can teach your child to endeavour to have.

What makes a good winner?

  • Humble, even after a win
  • Say ‘thank you’ when complimented
  • Thank those who have coached and guided the child to a win
  • Aim to keep improving and acquire better skills

What makes a better loser?

  • Gracious
  • Congratulate the winning player / players
  • Keep any negative comments to yourself and your parents
  • Continue to learn and practice the skills required in the sport
  • Treat each other with respect
  • Refrain from throwing tantrums and name calling
  • Saying that the game was ‘unfair’ or that other players were cheating

Praise your children on their performance in their game, and reiterate that the objective of sports is to have fun and learn. Most importantly, you have to be good role models and set the right examples themselves when dealing with a loss.

By Rebecca Goh-Quek, Education Specialist, Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd

This was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine