I am a proud baseball Mom. So if you’ve read my writing before, you probably know we have four children playing baseball and softball.
They aren’t playing ball because I plan for them to be professional athletes one day.
It’s important to us that our children learn life lessons in their daily lives. And organized sports can be a great way for them to learn many types of lessons at one time.
The key here is letting your kids learn these lessons. It’s tempting as parents to want to save them from their feelings. But if you let them experience these lessons and learn how to deal with them on their own, they’ll be better for it.
Here are just some of the skills our children are learning from playing baseball.
I’ve talked before about how and why we don’t save our children from disappointment. Sports gives them another opportunity to practice the skills of dealing with disappointment.
Whether it’s striking out, losing a tough game, or dealing with an ump who made a bad call, there are lots of chances to experience disappointment in sports.
It’s so important for kids to be allowed to manage the emotions and behaviors of handling disappointment in smaller things like these. Later in life, they will face disappointment in much larger matters. We want them to be familiar with the feeling of disappointment, so that they have some experience managing it.
Grace in Victory
On the other hand, sports also offers plenty of chances to manage victory. Winning the big game, hitting a homerun, striking out a side of batters. There are lots of things that make a kid feel great.
It’s wonderful for them to experience the great part of sports, too. They should feel that satisfying sense of accomplishment that comes as a result of hard work and proper practice.
But that’s another emotion that they can learn to deal with properly. We want our kids to be gracious in victory as well as defeat. We certainly want them to be proud of themselves for a job well done. But we want them to learn to temper that a bit. They need to learn how to handle victory with grace.
This is such a big lesson! Most jobs that our kids will have as adults require a certain amount of teamwork. Adults at work have to deal with difficult personalities, people not at the same experience or skill level as themselves, and colleagues that they enjoy working with (though they may cause you to be a bit distracted from your job).
Sports offers kids a way to experience this in a hands on way. Particularly team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and soccer.
The team must work together to accomplish their goals. Not everyone will have the same skill set. Not everyone will be as willing to work as hard as you towards the goal.
It can be frustrating to bring so many different personalities on the same field together. Sports gives kids a chance to learn how to deal with that frustration, and problem solving abilities that will serve them for years.
Not long ago, one of our teams played a game and defeated the other team so well that the game was called off early, because there was no mathematical chance for the other team to win.
After the game, my son admitted that it wasn’t that fun of a game for him. He felt badly for the other team. His own team had been on the losing side of games like this before, and he knew it didn’t feel very good.
I loved the fact that he could wear the shoes of even his opponents.
Other ways that kids can learn empathy is by bringing up a teammate who is feeling down after making an error.
Is there anything better than seeing your child finally succeed at that thing that they’ve struggled with for ages? Maybe, but it’s a short list.
And once your kid feels that amazing sense of accomplishment after finally succeeding after trying and trying again, they’ll want to keep that feeling coming for the rest of their life.
These lessons can be learned in other ways, but sports create a great background for teaching many life lessons at once.
If you’d like some tips for saving money on sports, be sure to check out my post at A Budget Friendly Life today. It’s called Save Your Money (and Sanity!) This Sports Season.
You’ll definitely want to read about the easiest fundraiser we’ve ever done!
Do your kids play organized sports? What do you like or dislike about it?