The Olympics, What Your Child Can Learn by Stacey Honowitz

Last week I wrote about how disgusted I was with the lack of role models there are in today’s society, and this week I am happy to see that the Olympics have come around at a perfect time. While we hear about the stupid  antics of so many young people who have made a fortune acting like idiots, we are now going to be privy to the lives of people that our kids can actually learn some lessons from.

This is a great time to get your children involved. We are so used to hearing the kids begging and pleading for “another five minutes” in front of the television, that they might just think they need therapy when you actually tell them”yes, you can keep it on.” Why is it so important that we let them partake in the Olympic experience? There are so many reasons that this can be a learning experience for them. Think of all the different facts you can explain to them about the games.

There are so many hidden lessons in all of this. The first of which is discussing what country is hosting the games, and then the discussion can lead to what that country is all about ( if you don’t know just go to Google  and pretend you knew it) your kids won’t  care where you get the information from, as long as you pass it on to them. So there is the first lesson, geography, history and social studies. The opening ceremonies (if you could stay up) is chock full of great stuff to talk about. I am specifically talking about the “parade of nations” where you could sound like a real big shot as you read off the name of the countries that were marching in. So in one night, they could learn how many different athletes and countries have come to participate.

The real lessons to be learned, are from the athletes themselves. Sports have become a way of life for some parents who spend their nights and weekends schlepping kids to and from athletic events. Soccer,  tennis, gymnastics, track and field, and a slew of other sports have dominated the family life for many people. We are constantly bombarded in the news with cases of over zealous parents who fight behalf of their kids, and end up in fights with coaches and other parents. We hear about them ending up in court for assault all because they were not happy with a call that was made during the game. The Olympics games stand for the complete opposite of that type of behavior (parents should learn from this too), as they pride themselves on showing good sportsmanship. The Olympics can also teach your kids about never giving up and quitting what they love to do. That’s not to say that they should be pushed into anything, but certainly they can learn that hard work, determination and lots of practice and training could get them to this place (without giving them false hope of course).

The Olympics provide good role models. These are the people that our kids should be looking up to. These are the people who sacrificed for the love of their sport, who weren’t out partying and making fools of themselves, who had a passion for their sport and did everything in their power to succeed at it. They are the true teachers for our kids. They are the ones that our kids should want to emulate, even if your child does not excel at sports, as these lessons could be integrated into anything that they do.  

 The most important concept to share with your kids is this. Here you have athletes from across the world who have converged in one place to display their talents, and to show the world what they can do. The take away from it all is for your kids to see healthy competition, and how people from all nations can come together without fighting and cursing and just do their thing. Your kids can see the range of emotions from happiness to sadness from laughing to crying and from success to defeat. They will also be able to see hugging, kissing,  teamwork, love, and family. They will see how people cheer and embrace and most importantly they will see that there is more to life than trying to get on a reality show. They will see that with hard work, and a lot of support they can achieve whatever they want.