Winter Games a great teaching opportunity for parents

All parents like to find positive opportunities to educate their children – and the Winter Games is one of the best.

We take you behind the scenes this month with our timely Vancouver Games Blog, an insider perspective on sport medicine and science headlines, talking points, statistical data and emerging trends.

The Winter Games present a wealth of positive teaching opportunities that a parent can pass along to their child according to an article by Dave McGinn in today’s Globe and Mail:

For parents, the Olympics is about as perfect a teachable moment as it gets. But should you temper their expectations – or start building that backyard sledding course?

It’s a tricky balance. It’s not a parent’s job to let these kids know how high the odds are stacked against them, experts and parents of Olympians say. Instead, it is an opportunity to teach them about determination, teamwork and all the other Olympic virtues no athlete can reach the podium without. But for some parents whose children show exceptional promise, it also presents the challenge of encouraging kids just enough without pushing them too far.

“Really what they’re saying is, ‘I want to excel at something.’ And you have to give them the opportunity for them to excel. It doesn’t mean they have to be in the Olympics,” says Mary Christie, mother of Jeff Christie, a member of Canada’s Olympic luge team. “It’s important for parents to say, ‘Yeah, isn’t it great that that person has worked so hard and devoted so much of themselves to reach this point in what they’ve chosen to do.’ “

And even if a child isn’t destined for the podium, there is plenty for them to learn from watching the Games. “It speaks to national loyalty. It speaks to task mastery. It’s team spirit. It’s health in general. So it’s still speaking to the early buds of character traits that we would like to nurture in our kids,” says Alyson Schäfer, a Toronto-based parenting expert.

Read the full article here.

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