Some parents worry about competitive sports changing their children in a negative way. We want our children to compete in the classroom without cheating, compete on the playground without feeling good at someone else’s expense, and compete in the game without breaking the rules.
There is no question that there are always opportunities to cheat, break rules, and hurt someone in sports as in other areas of life, but we hope the main lessons our children learn from sports are positive ones, and that is what we all try to foster.
Children React in Games as They do in Other Situations
When my granddaughter was in her first year of hockey, she was six years old, and loved everything about the game. She played with other six-year-old girls and boys, and was very proud that she was learning how to skate, how to handle the puck and the stick, and that she was finally part of the game that involved everyone else in the family in one way or another.
My daughter and I sat in the stands each week watching her, and thoroughly enjoyed her pleasure as she gradually mastered the skills she needed for the game. There were almost as many parent coaches on the ice as little hockey players, and the children tried very hard, stumbling and falling and trying to hit the puck with their sticks and then pass it to another player or shoot it in the net.
My Granddaughter’s First Game was Fascinating
The day came when many pucks were thrown on the ice and the children had a chance to play their first game. It involved the little players reaching a puck before anyone else, stick handling it up the ice and taking a shot on the net. The other children tried to stick handle the puck away from one of the shooters, and take the shot instead.
It was tricky for them and fun to watch. My granddaughter skated up to one of the little boys and successfully took the puck off his stick. Then, instead of skating up the ice, she paused. We watched the little boy talking to her and, finally, she left the puck on the ice for him and skated on to another child. We were intrigued and could hardly wait to find out what he had said to her and why she had let him have the puck.
When we were finally able to ask, my granddaughter answered, “He said, ‘Please don’t take the puck away from me. I don’t like this game.’”
“So, you decided to leave it for him?”
Her mother said, “That was very kind of you; good for you,” and then she and I hurried away to giggle our heads off.
When I could finally talk, I said, “That was very clever of him, but I hope he isn’t planning to use that technique to become successful in the major leagues.”
The point is that the basic nature of the child will stay the same. A child doesn’t hurt or cheat or become unkind because of a sport.
Stories About Children in Sports Are Teaching Opportunities
One of my goals in writing a sports mystery is that the sports world showcases so many different problems that must be faced in life. When children read about others who are confronted by the same or similar difficulties, they are comforted to know that they are not alone.
The mystery, of course, makes it all fun, and solving the puzzle along with the main characters helps motivate young readers to hurry on to the end of the book to see what happens.
Something’s Missing is for sale in paperback at this link to Amazon.com, or by clicking on this Amazon.ca link, and at Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores. If your child enjoys e-book reading, watch for the Kindle version, coming soon.
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