YOUR GRANDCHILD’S BIGGEST FAN!
by Katrina Wester (Adapted
from an article in Today's Parents)
Do you remember
the first time you played in a high school football game, acted in
a school play, performed in a ballet recital or competed in spelling
bee? Now, think back. Who was at the event cheering you on? Were you
lucky enough to have your grandparents there?
Having a proud grandparent at any event, whether it’s sports-related
or not, helps to enrich their lives and the relationships you share.
When grandparents get involved, it can help bolster a child’s
self esteem. It also will help to create an additional bond; it can
provide hours of conversation. And best of all you, the grandparent,
is giving your grandchild the best gift ever – the gift of your
time. Here are just some tips of how you can be their biggest fan.
Make the commitment to be there not just in person, but in sprit.
Learn about the activity. If you can participate, do so. If it’s
sports, go to the game together; if it’s an educational activity,
help your grandchild prepare. If it’s something they are passionate
about, try and further develop the interest.
BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL.
Behave the way you would like your grandchild to behave. Be a good
sport. Commend your grandchild on positive interactions.
KEEP YOUR COMPLIMENTS IN CHECK.
Let your grandchildren know when they have done well, but don’t
overdo it. Be positive, but a child will know when he has had had
a bad day. Talk about strategies for improvement when a child isn’t
doing well. Try to work together if it’s possible, or suggest
talking to a coach or teacher for improvement.
OFFER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT.
Remember that you are not the coach. You are there for support. Your
job is to focus on the positive and avoid criticism.
WATCH OUT FOR GENDER STEREOTYPES.
Encourage your grandchild in all endeavors - whatever they may be.
Do not discourage or tease your grandchild about their chosen sport
or activity if you think it’s strictly a male or female activity.
And keep an open mind when it's your turn to participate.
FOCUS ON THE ACTIVITY—NOT WHO WINS WHO LOSES.
Winning doesn’t need to be the main focus. If your grandchild
is learning new skills, he is developing good self esteem and a positive
identity. Focusing on winning can crush the spirit. The focus should
be on having a good time.
Make the event a fun event. If you and your grandchild are both having
fun – you both win!