GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Sports can get competitive, especially when it comes to siblings. Here are some simple tips to keep the family sane and happy.
Focus on Hard Work Instead of Results
When you applaud hard work as loudly as the actual results, you level the playing field for your kids. Regardless of age or talent differences, each of them has the opportunity to succeed in your eyes and theirs.
Try this: Be purposeful about celebrating good attitudes towards hard work, whether it takes place at home, school, or on the field. Perhaps have a “Hard Worker of the Month” award. Be creative.
Invest Equally – Fight Favoritism
When one child seems to be excelling in sports it is easy to want to spend all of your time fine-tuning that talent. Your involvement is important. However, that involvement should be spread evenly between all of your kids.
Try this: Plan to have a one-on-one date with each of your kids every month. Make that time all about them. Focus on just having fun together.
Use Language that Views Family as a Team – Avoid Labels
Labeling a child, the “athlete of the family” or “the most creative” or maybe “the sensitive one” might seem harmless and even complimentary at first.
However, children tend to define their sense of self by how others perceive them. If a child hears all the time that they are the athletic one in the family they might be reluctant to explore anything that is not sports related. This does not lead to balance.
Try this: Once a week at dinner have each person say one sentence about why the person to their left is a valuable part of the family, or fun to be with, or helpful etc.