Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Lessons from the Olympics

by Ronald A. Rowe | August 1st, 2012 | Elementary

Watching the Olympics together is great family fun. But it can also be a good time to work in some sneaky life lessons for the kids. They may even enjoy themselves so much they don’t even realize they’re learning something. Here are four lessons that we can teach our children while watching the Summer Olympic Games.

1) Appreciate greatness
I’ve long held that it is a joy to see someone do something — anything — great. I’m not just talking about highly paid professional athletes. From the cleaning lady who goes above and beyond to the shoe shine guy who is wildly entertaining and wonderfully efficient — I always appreciate seeing someone at the top of their game. The Olympics present a tremendous opportunity to see people who have worked hard and sacrificed much in order to become the best there is at their given field of endeavor.

2) The harder you have to work for it, the sweeter the reward
All the athletes in the Olympics worked hard to get there, but the handful who had no official national backing faced even tougher odds than the rest. When their turn came up in the Parade of Nations, the three marching Independent Nation athletes were by far the most excited and enthusiastic of the entire event.

3) Variety is the spice of life
We watch football and baseball and NASCAR on a regular basis in our house, but never before have my sons seen Sculling or Team Handball. Seeing new sports and events has opened their eyes to some of the possibilities out there. With a whole world of events to choose from, children can hardly help but to be inspired to try something new.

4) Doing is better than watching
After spending some time watching great athletes pushing themselves to the limits on the world stage the time comes to turn off the tube and get outside. Here in Florida in July the temperature during the afternoon is roughly equivalent to standing on the surface of the sun, but in the evening we get out and put some of the skills we witnessed into practice. My older son has already declared his intentions to become an Olympic archer; the younger one has decided on track.

So while you’re watching the Olympics over the next few weeks, take every opportunity to use the Games as a platform for teaching your children lessons for life that will stay with them long after this year’s games are forgotten.

Comments on Lessons from the Olympics