Blog Posts by Yahoo! Contributor Network

  • Preparing for Your Child's First Competitive Sport

    My daugheter playing soccer.My daugheter playing soccer.The time has come for your child to make a big transition when it comes to sports. Gone are the days when no one kept score and everyone won a trophy; it's suddenly time for competitive sports. Whether your son or daughter has finally graduated to a county team from a local community league or is trying out instead of simply signing up, competitive sports are a unique beast and a rite of passage for many.

    What should you know about your son or daughter's first attempt at competitive sports?

    Keep your schedule open.

    Where recreational sports programs may only practice and play once a week, competitive leagues require a true time commitment from both students and their families. Be prepared for regular (sometimes daily) practices and a busy game schedule that may involve traveling, depending on your sport, season, and age level of the children.

    Be sure your child's heart is in it.

    Learn from my mistakes-don't sign your child up for a sport (recreational or competitive) just

    Read More »from Preparing for Your Child's First Competitive Sport
  • Help! My Child Dislikes a Sport that I Know is Perfect!

    You were the star gymnast in high school. Maybe your husband was the college football team's celebrated quarterback? It is only natural that your daughter will follow in your footsteps, while your son will start throwing the pigskin as soon as he is old enough to walk, right? Wrong! Plenty of moms find themselves at the crossroads when their children loathe the sports that were handpicked for them. In fact, some children may show absolutely no aptitude at all for the chosen sport -- or any sport. What do you do? Do you grit your teeth and drop off a whiny child at the soccer field? Do you cut your losses and cancel the classes?

    Self-assess: Are you living vicariously through your kids?

    Be honest! Is a portion of your sense of self-worth or self-esteem intertwined with your child's athletic prowess? Do you feel like a good parent when your son scores a soccer goal? In contrast, do you feel that your parenting skills are found wanting if your daughter fails to perform

    Read More »from Help! My Child Dislikes a Sport that I Know is Perfect!
  • Talk to Your Kids About Cheating: 10 Conversation Starters

    Have you caught your child cheating?Have you caught your child cheating?It is so easy to fudge the numbers, inflate the accomplishments, and highlight personal achievement. Children learn from a young age that winners receive glory, whereas losers receive questions. Sure, schools and sports teams have tried to make everyone -- even the 10th place finisher -- feel good about their accomplishments, but this strategy has backfired. Rather than discouraging cheating, it has led to an expectation of recognition.

    Moms, you know that the buck stops with you.

    Talking to your kids about cheating is no exception. While schools and sports teams should support your messages, it is the home that must set the pace and spell out the expectations of good sportsmanship and excellent academics. Ten conversation starters make it possible.

    1. How do you use your electronic devices?

    A cell phone is a middle school student's gateway to the Internet. Is your 12-year-old child tempted to play with her phone during a test? Discuss the right -- and wrong -- uses of

    Read More »from Talk to Your Kids About Cheating: 10 Conversation Starters
  • 4 Lessons I Learned While Competing in Sports as a Child

    Did you learn lessons playing sports as a child?Did you learn lessons playing sports as a child?Would you believe that competing can make you a better person? It may not do much for your self-esteem, especially if you are on a team that loses frequently. Competitive sports might not even foster your love for a particular athletic activity. Then again, your stint in a competitive environment probably gives you a bit of an edge today in business. Don't believe me? There are four lessons I learned while competing in sports as a child; if you think back, you might remember a few lessons you learned as well.

    1. Cheaters win but get no respect

    Remember the runners who would hide behind the high-jump mats that obscured the view of the track's curves? They would come out of hiding just in time to finish with the rest of the pack. While all other runners were winded and panting, they sailed through the finish line. Did the coach ever catch on? Maybe, maybe not; however, these runners soon got a reputation for being cheats. Fellow track runners would not respect them; refuse to

    Read More »from 4 Lessons I Learned While Competing in Sports as a Child
  • Lessons Learned from Childhood Sports

    Growing up, I learned invaluable lessons from childhood sports.Growing up, I learned invaluable lessons from childhood sports.Growing up as the oldest of four girls, my parents kept me constantly active. If I wasn't taking an extra enrichment class, I was learning how to twirl a baton, play an instrument, swim, or ride a horse. I participated in Girl Scouts, 4H and other clubs. They also signed me up to play on every team that had an opening. Looking back, I am grateful for the variety of experiences, and realize now that my coaches taught me more about how to navigate life than any teacher.

    Invaluable lessons from the playing field

    Hustle. At the time, the constant demand to "hustle!" was annoying. If the game is over, why are we hustling? What is the point of hustling in practice? Now I see the wisdom in the mandate. It doesn't matter how much talent you may have, if you don't hustle you will be passed up. They say slow and steady wins the race, but even manufactured enthusiasm is better than laziness.

    Keep score. It may be trendy to remove score-keeping from children's sporting events, but there is

    Read More »from Lessons Learned from Childhood Sports
  • Growing Out of Gymnastics: How My Daughter Quit Competitive Sports

    My daughter and I eventually decided to end her gymnatics career.My daughter and I eventually decided to end her gymnatics career.It started when she was two years old and begged incessantly to go to the park, swing, jump, dance, hop, climb, run, skip and otherwise exhaust her parents. Clearly, this energy needed a focus. So what's a first-time mom to do? My solution was to find an organized class that would provide both an outlet for all her energy, a chance for socialization (for mom and daughter), and maybe even give her a chance to develop some skills along the way. And so our 12 year love affair with gymnastics began.

    The Mom-and-Me gymnastics program was perfect. Twice a week we walked (well, I walked and she ran) down the street to the old gymnasium. For 45 blissful minutes mom and daughter learned simple stretches, how to tumble, skip and climb a rope, and best of all it was in a padded environment! No scrapes or cuts to kiss away.

    As the years progressed the "Mom" part of the program moved to the sidelines and the "me" part really took off. I watched in amazement as she truly began to look like a

    Read More »from Growing Out of Gymnastics: How My Daughter Quit Competitive Sports
  • 5 Ways to Make Your Child's Sports Fees More Affordable

    Find ways to save on your child's sports fees.Find ways to save on your child's sports fees.Today, parents of athletes face many challenges: fitting in all the practices, games, races, and meets into tightly packed schedules, teaching time management to balance sports and school, helping kids cope with the challenges and rewards of competition, and helping kids determine what the right sport is for them. But for many parents, the rising costs of children's sports is rapidly becoming a 'deal breaker'. With the increasing selection in sports activities comes a sometimes hefty price tag. If parents are willing to get creative, there are some ways to make child's sports fees more affordable.

    Talk to the owner.
    If your child is participating in a 'for profit' program, like karate lessons or ballet class, talk to the owner about ways to save. Sometimes signing up for an autopay program, or committing to an extended amount of classes will qualify you for a discount. Small businesses depend on customer satisfaction, and know that positive word of mouth recommendations will not

    Read More »from 5 Ways to Make Your Child's Sports Fees More Affordable
  • I Hated Cheerleading, but My Daughter Loved It

    My daughter loved cheerleading.It is a parent's worst nightmare; well, one of a parent's worst nightmares, anyway. You know the one: The nightmare where your child loves doing something, but you absolutely despise the activity. Of course, by despise, I mean loathe, abhor, hate, and scorn.

    Then again, we aren't talking about a cut-and-dried like versus dislike battle of parent versus kid, either. We aren't talking about sex, drugs, or rock and roll - enemies of parents around the globe. We are talking about something far more benign. What might this vile activity be, you ask? Simply put, the thing I disdain above all others comes alongside glitter, bows, and cute outfits: competitive cheerleading.

    My Daughter Loved It

    She loved everything about cheerleading, well, just about everything that you would expect any garden-variety 8 year old to love. She loved the eye glitter, the glamor, the music, the stunts, the hair bows, the applause, the acrobatics and the winning -yes, I said the winning. My

    Read More »from I Hated Cheerleading, but My Daughter Loved It


(128 Stories)