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Let the Games (and Valuable Life Lessons) Begin!

February 2nd, 2018     By Angela Nott, Boys Town Cross Country Coach and Teacher

Competing with Character, Extracurricular Activities, Parenting Skills, Sports, Today's Family

The 2018 Winter Olympics are one of the greatest spectacles in sports. For two weeks, some of the best athletes in the world—men and women who have trained, practiced, and sacrificed for years—will come together in Pyeongchang to compete against each other and push themselves to the limit. There will be unforgettable moments of endurance, triumph, and failure, and high drama can unfold even during the most obscure events.

This is what makes the Olympics such a great teaching tool for parents. When you're watching the competition with your kids, it's a perfect time to point out to them the importance of staying healthy and physically active, just like the athletes. Good physical health also can mean improved mental and spiritual health, and involvement in athletics and other team-oriented activities can build kids' self-confidence and character.

Even the negative side of the Olympics can hold valuable lessons for children. Over the years, there's been a lot of controversy during the Olympics over athletes who have used illegal drugs to enhance their performance. Some have been banned from competing as a result. You can take this opportunity to teach your child that there are consequences for breaking the rules, and even the best athletes have to forfeit their opportunity to compete when they cheat.

Hold Your Own Olympic-Themed Games

You can use the Olympics to entertain everyone in the family with Olympics-inspired games. The winter weather might not always cooperate, but don't let snow on the ground stop you from getting outside with your kids. You can organize your own "mini-Olympics," complete with an opening ceremony and events that you and your kids create together, such as a snowman-building competition or a sledding race. You might even invite other families in your neighborhood to participate for even more fun. Afterward, everyone can head inside the house to warm up with some family time and hot chocolate.

At Boys Town, we teach kids to "compete with character." This means always showing good sportsmanship, respecting opponents, giving your best effort, winning with humility, and losing with dignity. Our Olympics Bingo is a fun, teachable moment that the whole family can enjoy. It will require you to watch for the character of the athletes and not just the athleticism.

The bingo cards feature examples of competing with character. When someone sees an Olympic athlete demonstrating one of the characteristics on their card, they can mark off the square. Just like regular bingo, the first person to mark a row wins. Come up with fun prizes each evening, and make sure to discuss how the members of your family compete with character when they play sports. Download the Olympics Bingo cards now.

Use the Winter Olympics as inspiration to share these valuable lessons and make learning fun for your kids.

Free Olympics Bingo Cards 

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