It’s widely accepted that parents are the biggest role models in a child’s life.

That’s a big deal… they are watching and learning from you ALL THE TIME. You have a lot of influence and the smallest situation can help shape character and confidence in them.

Our emotions are one of the biggest things to keep in check around our kids. We’ve all seen that parent that goes ballistic over a bad call, or complains when one kid is recognized over another. When parents yell or criticize athletes or coaches, they set a bad example for their kids. Often parents who exhibit poor self-control in their own lives have children who are prone to emotional outbursts and poor self-discipline. If we are to expect sportsmanship and self-control from our kids, we need to exhibit the same qualities!

Along those same lines, we want our kids to treat others kindly – always. When parents display empathy on a daily basis, they encourage their young athlete to show the same grace to their teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials. The more aware kids are of what empathy sounds and looks like, the more likely they are to use those behaviors in their daily lives. Don’t assume our children know how to show others they care. Use phrases like:

– You look upset.
– I understand how you feel.
– It makes me feel sad that you’re hurt.
– I bet that hurts a lot.

Your influence as a parent is something that should not be taken for granted. At the end of the day, the way you behave can easily impact your child’s development in a positive or negative way.