Monday, March 23, 2015

Parenting: Sports
Two minutes of tips for being a "good sport" parent.

There is a ton of great information for sports parents stuffed into this 2-minute clip. Leslee Brady from Positive Coaching Alliance gives great advice for parents of children involved in sports. Here are three hints she gives on how to be a “good sport” parent:

1.       Watch another child than your own.  Okay, this may sound weird because you come to the game to watch YOUR child. But, it is good advice to follow every once in a while because it gives you the kind of perspective a coach has. It helps to reinforce that the event is about the game and about what the players learn – it is not just about your child.

2.        Learn when to discuss the game.  When your children are young, they don’t want to discuss the game and analyze every move and play. They are at a level where everything is new, and they learn as much as they can during practice and play. As you child gets older, he or she may appreciate discussing the game – but even then, sometimes we just let the coach handle it and as parents play the part of encourager.

3.       Ask how the team did. This is especially good advice because it is a reminder to both parent and athlete that teamwork is the goal. This line of questioning will encourage empathy by encouraging your young athlete to think about others. Empathy will make your child a better teammate and a better athlete.

Leslee Brady’s best advice comes when she reminds us that our children learn most when they fail and struggle with challenges. It is important that we foster learning – instead of shame – during these difficult times. This kind of learning builds resilience which is an important life skill.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5, ESV

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Parenting: Conversation

We talk with our children over the course of the day but rarely think about the learning in those conversations, even in the conversations with the young ones. Watch this clip and think about the lessons this little one is learning because of the care and patience her mother has in talking with her.

Here are a few of the lessons learned:

1. Wendy is learning vocabulary that helps her to express emotions such as love, tiredness, fear, and calm.

2. She is developing what is called theory of mind - an understanding that her thoughts and feelings are separate from others. Is the dog tired or am I tired? Does my mom need to calm down or do I need to calm down?

3. She is learning the difference between words that are mean and words that do not say what she wants to hear.

4. When her mother responds with a gentle, firm tone in words that simply explain why, she is learning to think about her actions.

5. Wendy is learning to feel comfort in the knowledge that her mother is not only responsive to her needs but is also in charge.

All of this from a short conversation!  The lessons are learned when they are experienced over and over, again. 

A faith - filled parent is teaching more than vocabulary and conversation. The time given to conversation, the gentleness and persistence, the guidance and forgiveness, of everyday conversion speaks of the faith given to parents and shared with their children. 

 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:20, ESV)