5 Lessons My Children Can Learn From the Olympics
(image provided by pixabay)
Our family loves watching sports. Sports is one of those universal languages that brings people together. You can sit at any bar, in any country, and you’ll find strangers rallying together towards a common goal. So when the summer Olympics started last week, we were all ready with our homemade flags and colour coordinating uniforms during some of our favourite races and performances. We get really giddy especially for the opening ceremonies. The anticipation of watching another country symbolize what the games mean is always so riveting.
Although our children could care less who’s qualifying for the semifinals of a swim race, there are many lessons to be taught when you sit down as a family to watch the Olympics. There is no other occasion where you can see a 21 year old compete with his 31-year-old idol and beat him for the gold [click here for the full story]. But stories like these are written in history at the Olympics. The joys of winning, the tears of losing, the blood and sweat of training; these are key components to touch on when we’re raising our little ones to be strong, independent, positive little beings. So, here are 5 things I want my children to learn from the Olympics.
(image provided by pixabay)
Dear little ankle biters,
I know you’re busy shoving cheese in your mouth or ramming a car into that toy garage… but here’s what I want you to know about what we’re watching. The Olympics are important in more ways than you think:
- Set Goals
Set your mind on a goal and make a plan to get it. It’s important you see where the finish line is, but don’t ever forget the little things along the way that will get you there. A plan is important. It’s the roadmap to your success. Set it without boundaries and focus on achieving that goal. For whatever comes your way, it will help you problem solve on how to get to that finish line.
- Be Dedicated
These athletes didn’t bloom overnight. It takes a lot of planning, strategic game play, training, sweat, tears, and years in the making. You’re not going to be an overnight success. There’s no such thing. If you think you will be, we will slap that thought out of your mind so fast you’ll wonder where that cheese went. Dedicate yourself and be true to yourself. I don't care how many detours you need to take to get there, but get there. Be committed to starting something and finishing it with pride. Giving up is not an option. And if you ever feel like giving up, call me. We will figure out another road to your plan. Together.
You see that athlete crying there? Crying because he fell off the vault? He didn’t perform the way he wanted to. Unfortunately he made a mistake that probably cost him the podium. But you know what? He got back up and finished his routine. He finished what he set out to do. So even though he didn’t get the score he wanted, this will only make him thirst for a medal even more. It WILL make him stronger.
Now look at this athlete here. Do you see her crying? Crying because she won her first gold? In fact, that’s the first gold ever in that event for her country. That is the good kind of cry. The cry that explains how much she persevered. How much she sacrificed. The moment she saw her name on the board and on top of that list, she was overcome by many emotions. Flashbacks of the long days and nights of training, goal setting, and dedication she made just to get to the finish line. That is the feeling I want you to feel when you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do. I want you to feel so much joy and pride that tears stream down your face as a testament of how much heart and soul you have put into everything you have done. Gold or not, put your head down, fight hard, and persevere until you meet the end. You have one shot at this, so give it all you've got.
- Have Integrity
Play true. There will be others that are going to be bigger than you, faster than you, stronger than you. Records are made to be broken. There will always be someone you’re going to compare yourself to. Sometimes this is a great thing, but sometimes it can be very toxic. Don’t chase that somebody. Find those who will lift you up and help you in the race, your teammates in life. Speak highly of those you respect and respect those you speak highly of. Cheer your teammates/competitors on. Wish them the best and give them the support you would want them to give you. Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. Play true to the game and be you. Think twice before you speak. You’re here to learn and make a mark. Not a scene. This world will forget the things you say, but they will never forget the things you do.
- Be Grateful
You know that Tide commercial that gets me crying every time? The one that shows how much a mom’s love and sacrifice has brought her child to the games? Yeah… that’s me! Ok, maybe a version of me. You’re going to leave this nest one day to pursue your dreams. I’m actually slowly dying inside knowing this will come true. So, as you begin your journey towards your goal, please don’t EVER forget where you came from. You’ll find your podium one day. And after all that hard work, dedication, and perseverance, I hope you look into the camera and be grateful for all those who have helped you along the way. Never forget those that passed you a water bottle or handed you a towel. Who knows, perhaps they’re looking at you to help set their goals too. So be grateful, child. The journey won’t be easy… but I guarantee you it will be worth it.
Are you watching the Olympics with your children? If so, what are you thoughts about it? We would love to hear them.
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