Finding the best version of yourself is about discovery. It is about helping your child understand their weaknesses, not just their strengths. You want to teach your child that losing and failures are not what they are made out to be. They are not sign’s of weakness or imperfection, as they are often misconstrued to be. Instead, they are stepping stones that lead to improvement and success.
Sometimes, you may think situations, experiences, and lessons are too advanced for your child as a parent. Well, they are not. Your child experiences emotions and failures just like they will do as you do, as an adult. Your child is emotionally unconfigured and a highly perceptive sponge that absorbs everything. Unfortunately, as a parent, you often forget this because as you get older, you lose perception because of becoming set in your ways.
So how do you show your child how to control their emotions? How do you teach them to understand their strengths? Youth sports are the best ways to teach your kids to find the best version of themselves. Experiences are necessary but guiding their emotions are essential.
Boy playing youth soccer outdoors on a soccer field.
6 Ways To Help Your Child Be the Best Version of Themselves
1. Failure is not failure; it is a diversion that leads to success. It is an experience to understand your interest, passion, honesty, and sincerity. It is about what and where you take and make of the situation to live, perform and function at your best. Failure is a way to show you how to do things better, if you use it properly.
When failure is seen negatively, it emotionally scares your child. It leads to thinking they are not good enough. But this is far from the truth. For example, Tom Brady was the 199th draft pick in the 6th round. To be chosen from this spot is considered kind of a pity pick. Tom Brady got his shot due to the starting quarterback becoming injured. Need I say more about how he turned the odds of being unsuccessful into success. Failures help discover your weaknesses and allow you to reverse them into strength.
2. Most times, people go against the grain, living acting a certain way that does not work for them. And parents often force their children to play and do things they do not want to do. Force is not the answer; providing many different experiences is the solution. You must not force something on your child. It produces negative emotions and feelings that diminish the positive impact. Instead, change what they dislike to something they like to understand their interest and maintain positivity with the changes.
3. Make things fun and not about winning and losing. When activities are fun, your child is more receptive. They will partake and develop their skills and enjoy the process rather than not be interested. Furthermore, fun activities will help you discover your child’s strengths, interests, personality, traits, emotions, and style. Bertrand Russell said, “Children who are forced to eat acquire a loathing for food, and children who are forced to learn acquire a loathing for knowledge.”
4. Face your problems. Don’t brush them under the rug. In life, show your child how to face issues and problems. The best way to solve something is to deal, cope, and resolve, not be scared, hide, and avoid. As a child, they will develop the necessary problem-solving skills as they get older. They will understand how to be strong and face the issue without fear.
5. Empower qualities, not quantity. Teach what sincerity, love, honesty, and passion are to your child. You and your child need to understand why you do something. For example, why is your child playing sport? Why do they like to play it? Your child needs to be honest and sincere with their feelings. And in doing this, it will help them discover something greater, their passion.
6. Teach how to control emotions using logic and rational thought. What is often forgotten about a child is that they are like untamed wild horses. As an adult, you have tons of experience that have created your maturity and ways of thinking. Therefore, your child needs to understand reactions and how to use logic and reason to resolve situations and not pout, argue, or fight.
Galileo said, “You cannot teach anybody anything. You can only help them discover it within themselves.” Herein lies the most extraordinary aspect of youth sports, self-discovery.
Sports Should Be Fun
Sports is fun and helps your child positively discover themselves. I am not saying to eliminate winning and losing nor shield them from negative experiences. These are all part of the process to upgrade to a better version of self. But your child needs to develop in a way that helps them be successful in dealing with positive and negative emotions. Let them experience so they can discover.