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From the Mommy Desk….
If your house is anything like our house, then your family has been watching the Olympics together nightly. That family time in and of itself is a treasured memory. Cheering the Olympians on as a family has been great. However, I realized that whether it’s watching Michael Phelps become the greatest Olympian of all time, or the fierce competitiveness and grace of the “Fab 5” women’s gymnastics team, the Olympics is teaching my children some valuable lessons.
First, kids learn the importance of practice. Honestly, my kids don’t really like to practice anything. From piano to baseball, getting them to voluntarily and eagerly practice is a chore. But I think watching the Olympic athletes, helps them realize that practice doesn’t just make you better, it has the potential to make you great. No one was born an Olympic athlete and when the kids watch the background stories they see that even Olympians faced struggles and had to choose to devote massive amounts of time to practicing and improving. Practice is not easy – it’s hard work. But hard work that pays off.
Next, the kids are exposed to grace, sportsmanship and gratitude. In the instance of the Russian gymnasts who received the silver medal and were practically tearing their hair out and crying hysterically, my daughter questioned, “why aren’t they grateful for SILVER?” Exactly! In contrast, Michael Phelps was so gracious and generous to his teammates when they won the gold for the relay that made gave him the title of “greatest Olympian ever” with 19 medals (he now has 20) thanking his teammates repeatedly.
Also, they are able to witness the importance of teamwork. Women’s beach volleyball, the women’s rowing team, the men’s volleyball team, even the synchronized diving teams show how important it is to work together, to rely on each other, to trust, and to encourage others. I am always impressed that the teammates are so supportive of each other. Under tremendous stress they function as a team.
Finally, the level of patriotism that the Olympics brings out not only in the athletes up on the podium but to every person in every living room in America is unbelievable. Maybe my kids don’t cry every time an Olympian receives the gold medal and the flag is raised, but they see me and they realize patriotism is important. Although my daughter did ask me “are you going to cry every time?” My answer, “yes, actually I am.”
From one mommy to another,
(Image Credits: www.techjost.com)
Jenny Wilson is a mother of three. She teaches a Mommy & Me class at Central Presbyterian Day School, serves on the PCT Board and Children’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the CAC board, the Parent Association Boards of Aikin, Crockett and PJH and was recently elected to the Paris ISD School Board of Trustees. Mrs. Wilson is a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Episcopal Church. She also is a certified yoga instructor, Jazzercise instructor and marketing consultant.