Will this year be your child’s first sports day? Does this thought make you feel like running for the hills, or running to dust off your trainers to ensure a good performance in the mum’s or dad’s race?!
Inevitably, like everything else to do with parenthood, how we respond to our children’s many firsts and experiences in life is rooted in our own childhood experiences. Did you love taking part in your own school events - did you win every race or come last in the egg and spoon?! Did you care much- once you were given the longed for ice lolly at the end of the day?
How you respond to school events has a huge effect on how your children will see them. For some children, sports day is a real chance to shine. They might not be as good in the classroom as some of their peers and it is great boost for their self esteem. Of course, there is always one child who seems to be lucky enough to be a cross between Usain Bolt and Albert Einstein- but then that’s life isn’t it? There are always some children that break the mould, but that doesn’t mean the others are any less successful.
Picture the child who crosses the finishing line without dropping the egg or the teamwork involved in the three legged race! Or the sheer achievement of being able to dress up in shoes, hats, neckerchiefs or old t-shirts and coats, in the dressing up race. Sports Days are an integral part of childhood. They teach children that it’s OK to fail sometimes. It happens to everyone. We are all better at somethings than others. Obviously we don’t like to see our children upset, but it’s how we teach them to deal with situations that makes the difference between the real winners and losers in life.
Frankly when they are still very young- it’s an achievement for them just to run or toddle in one direction, without falling over, whilst looking ahead and not at you! If you are proud of them, they will be proud of themselves. There are plenty of “Kodak” moments during a typical Sports Day - and they are not just limited to a shot of the winners podium!
So where do you stand when it comes to Sports Days? How competitive are you? Are you planning to be first in line for the tea and biscuits? Will you have elbows at the ready on the finishing line to ensure you get that perfect snap?! Or are you praying for rain and a cancelled event? Will you have the stopwatch out and your best trainers on, or will you be sitting the races out? Don’t forget, children love to see their mum’s and dads taking part in things and will feel proud of you no matter what...... after all it’s the taking part that matters isn’t it? No pressure there then! Good luck!