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10 Tips to Communicate with your Child

TAKEN FROM “THE BASEBALL ZONE” BLOG on BASEBALL PSYCHOLOGY – 10 TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILDfather_son_baseball

BASEBALL PARENTS COMMUNICATE IN MANY WAYS WITH THEIR KIDS THROUGH CONVERSATION, TONE OF VOICE, BODY LANGUAGE AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. BAEBALL AND SPORTS IN GENERAL, CAN BE AN EXCITING TOPIC TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR YOUNG ATHLETES. IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE AS SUPPORTIVE, EMPATHETIC AND POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU’RE DISCUSSING SPORTS WITH YOUR CHILDEREN.

KIDS EXPERIENCES IN BAEBALL CAN BE POSITIVE. THEY MAY LOVE LEARNING NEW SKILLS. BUT THEIR EXPERIENCES CAN ALSO BE NEGATIVE. THEY MAY SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE FAILURES, FOR EXAMPLE. TO ENSURE YOUR CHILDREN FEEL POSITIVE ABOUT SPORTS, FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:

LISTEN ATTENTIVELY – NOD YOUR HEAD, MAKE EYE CONTACT AND ASKI QUESTIONS RELATED TO WHAT YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN SAYING. THIS SHOWS YOU ARE INTERESTED.

AVOID LECTURING – PARENTS MAY OVERLOAD THEIR ATHLETES WITH TOO MUCH INFORMATION OR ADDITIONAL COACHING. LET CHILDREN VOICE THEIR OPINIONS.

AVOID DWELLING ON MISTAKES – MISTAKES ARE PART OF THE GAME IN BASEBALL AND EVERYONE SEES THEM. KIDS MAY BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES IF PARENTS DWELL ON THEM.

AVOID CRISICISM – KIDS MAY START TO TUNE PARENTS OUT, FEEL DEVENSIVE OR NOT WANT TO PLAY BASEBALL ANYMORE. PARENTS CAN OFFER LOTS OF PRAISE ALONG WITH INSTRUCTION.

KEEP YOU EMOTIONS IN CHECK – SPORTS IS AN ARENA WHERE EMOTIONS CAN GET OUT OF HAND. IF YOU FEEL ANGRY OR DISAPPOINTED, STEP AWAY FROM THE SITUATION, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY BEFORE SPEAKING IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT.

TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS – KIDS WANT SUPPORT FROM THEIR PARENTS. PARENTS CAN BE SUPPORTIVE BY VALIDATING THEIR KIDS’ FEELING.

AFTER THE GAME…..

READ YOUR CHILD’S BODY LANGUAGE – DETERMINE IF THEY’RE OPEN TO TALKING TO YOU. SPORT LOSSES ARE HARD AND SOME KIDS DO NOT WANT TO TALK RIGHT AWAY. GIVE THEM SOME SPACE. IF YOUR KIDS WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE, THEY WILL. PARENTS NEED TO BE PATIENT, RATHER THAN FORCING THEIR KIDS TO TALK.

SHOW EMPATHY – PARENTS COULD SAY, “I KNOW YOUR TRIED REALLY HARD TODAY AND YOU MUST BE UPSET.” PARENTS CAN ALSO SHARE A STORY ABOUT WHEN THEY PLAYED SPORTS AND HOW THEY COPED WITH LOSSES.

TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR KIDS DID WELL – KIDS DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT EVERY SINGLE MISTAKE THEY MADE DURING THE GAME, ESPECIALLY IF THEY LOST. TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT THEIR EFFORT, SPORTSMANSHIP, OR ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP BUILD THEIR CONFIDENCE. YOUR KIDS CANNOT GET ENOUGH PRAISE. IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT WAYS TO IMPROVE, WAIT A DAY.

BE SURE TO SHARE IN YOUR ATHLETE’S EXCITEMENT – LET YOUR KIDS TALK ABOUT THE GAME AND JUST LISTEN. BE SURE TO PRAISE THEM FOR WHAT THEY DID WELL.

THERE IS A SIMPLE RULE OF THUMB TO REMEMBER – THEY WILL NOT CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW IF THE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE. KEEP IT FUN. KEEP IT POSITIVE. AND WORK WITH YOUR KIDS TO MAKE SPORTS AN EXPERIENCE THROUGH WHICH THEY CAN BUILD THEMSELVES AND BECOME BETTER PEOPLE. NO GAME-WINNIN GOAL OR CHAMPIONSHIP CAN TOP THAT.

NOTE: TAKEN FROM “THE BASEBALL ZONE” BLOG on BASEBALL PSYCHOLOGY – 10 TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILD