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Display Good Judgment and fair play in sports: How to Teach Your Kids About it

Putting kids in sports can be a huge learning experience for them. It’s important to take these opportunities to teach them good judgment. While it certainly is fun to win, there is much more to sports than just walking away with a trophy. Let’s dive into the fundamentals of good judgment and how you can teach your children to respect their opponents, on and off the field. 

What is good Judgment?

Good judgment can look like winning without rubbing it in your opponents’ faces, losing gracefully, and overall treating others with respect. This can apply to playing sports or watching sports and applies to players, coaches, referees, and anyone observing the game. Here are some key characteristics to focus on instilling in your children:

  • Try your best
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Show respect to everyone
  • If you see someone else make a mistake, don’t criticize them
  • Always be encouraging to others, even if they are not on your team

How can parents model good judgment?

When it comes to teaching kids how to behave well, they will always follow what the adults around them are doing. It is essential for parents and adults involved to model great behavior for their kids. Here are three tips for modeling great behavior in front of your kids:

  1. Listen to directions. When the coaches or referees are speaking, emphasize the importance of listening and cooperating with their instructions. Following the rules of the game is important, this is a good opportunity to talk about why there are rules and how they help the game have organization.
  2. Steer clear of arguments. Try to stay focused on the game rather than giving in to negative feelings towards the coaches, referees, or other teammates. When you model this positive behavior, your kids are less likely to get into fights or use poor language toward their opponents or anyone else on the field.
  3. Bring encouragement. Praise the team members when they do well and encourage them to push forward if they mess up. Avoid harsh criticism and unkind behavior. 

At the end of the day, children will look to their surroundings to decide how to act and model the behavior of whatever is around them. If you are not acting with integrity or your kids are consuming media that portrays people acting unkindly, it will end up reflected in the children’s behavior towards one another. 

Teaching good judgment

Other than in actual game settings, another great way to teach children the importance of good judgment is through reading books or watching shows that have characters who showcase good judgment. 

If you’re looking for a new book to dive into with your little one, consider checking out Junga the Dancing Yeti in “Yeti, Set, Go!” This heartfelt children’s book follows the story of a young yeti joining a team and learning sportsmanship for the first time. Visit jungayeti.com or motivatedtoact.org for more information on this book, as well as the rest of the Junga the Dancing Yeti series. The proceeds from this book are donated to the non-profit, Motivated to Act, to help them in their journey to reduce bullying across the nation.

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