What Kids Can Learn From the Winter Olympics
We are not “TV watchers”. Our kids get a maximum of 20 minutes of TV a day, on most days none at all. We’ve all heard the debates about over-exposure of kids to TV. On the other hand, we are a family who believe in the benefits of sports. And since moving to Switzerland, three-and-a-half years ago, winter sports have become an important part of our lives.
I was born and raised in a tropical country so I never got to learn to do any winter sports except perhaps, snow shoe walking. But my kids, like their Swiss friends, are really into it. That is why we make an exception about extended time this week and the coming week as well. But it is not only the love of winter sports brought us to this. We think our kids can benefit from watching the Olympics in a lot of ways.
What Your kids Can Learn From the Winter Olympics
- Do their best. We are hoping that seeing the winners would inspire our kids to do their best. However, we always point out to them, it is not about the medal, it is about finishing the race even if it means being last. They are now learning to understand what “personal best” means.
- Be a graceful loser. Losing in a game, be it memory or a soccer match, is hard for our boys. In letting them see how athletes lose without their cool, we hope that they learn to lose more gracefully. The hug that Lindsay Vonn gave Maria Riesch the other today after she fell in the slalom to lose her medal chance was certainly a model gesture of being a good loser.
- Learn about safety. Our boys also saw the dangers and the risks involved, such as the falls that occurred during the downhill races. We also point out to them the safety measures of the sports, hoping that they learn to take safety measures when they take to the slopes.
- Determination. We hope that by seeing athletes pick themselves up after a nasty spill to continue with the task at hand would help our kids learn about determination. The example of Anja Pearson who gave up silver in the skiing combination downhill – slalom after her terrible crash in the downhill, would hopefully stick in their mind. That Swedish girl must be sore all over after her accident, but she still got up and won the bronze.
- Team work. It’s not only individual sports that we watched. My boys would rather watch the curling match between Switzerland and the UK than the lady’s biathlon. Learning to be a team player is one of the best benefits a child can learn from sports.
We watch sporting events regularly but of course everybody know how special the Olympics are. It wasn’t always possible to watch the games in real time due to time zone differences so we are looking forward to the London Summer Olympics in about two year’s time.
We will always encourage our kids to watch the Olympic games. After all, learning about sportsmanship should be a continuing process. They need to be taught how to succeed – and fail at an early age.