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Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Champion fair play and participation.

What you can do

Are you worried that your child is such a sore loser that she’ll never be able to enjoy competition? Talk up the benefits of the activity over the results of a game. Set a tone that rewards effort over outcome. Champion participation and fair play.

What you can say

“Sofia, what a great softball game. You really held your own against the best team in the league. You girls are talking to each other well. That helped you keep the other team from scoring a few extra runs.”

“You did some great sprinting in the outfield. Coach kept you in the game longer this week, and I think your speed helped the team. Great job!”

Why this will help

Children who focus only on the outcome of a contest lose the pleasure of participation. Kids with learning and attention issues often measure things solely by wins and losses. They need to be directly shown the benefits that just being a part of a team can bring them, physically and socially.

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