True sportsmanship

by Rita Brhel on March 14, 2017

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Human nature is inherently competitive. We see this in sports, politics, the arts, even parenting. No matter how much we try to instill a sense of cooperation in our children, we see their competitive natures peek out in sibling rivalry and playground peer interactions.

Competition doesn’t have to be negative. It can be fun, and it can include cooperation. We can win and lose in good spirits, keeping in mind that the activity was for enjoyment and learning, and that our competitor is human and, like us, wanted to win. And, like us, deserves empathy.

Good sportsmanship is a tough skill to learn — for both children and adults. It’s best learned through parents and coaches modeling to children.

This Today video demonstrates an example of good sportsmanship in action among preteen soccer players. It serves as a lesson to us all.

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Rita Brhel (181 Posts)

Rita Brhel, BS, CLC, API Leader, is the Executive Editor for Attachment Parenting International. She lives with her husband and 3 children, ages 10, 8 and 5, near Hastings, NE, USA, where she works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She also writes for Mothering and La Leche League’s New Beginnings.


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