Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Game-day advice adapted for the game of life

Useful advice comes in many forms.

I’m on the mailing list of the e-newsletter for Wilson High School, which has its share of nuggets.

One of them was mined at the request of Scott Aker, WHS athletic director, and Mike Clopton, WHS baseball coach, in the most recent edition. Aker and Clopton wanted to share some advice on how parents and students should behave civilly at games, particularly toward officials and opposing teams.

So, at their suggestion, editor Linda Doyle included a “Game-Day To-Do List for Parents,” which was adapted from materials prepared by the Positive Coaching Alliance and the American Youth Soccer Organization.

It struck me that the advice could be further adapted to the game we call “life.” I have tried to do so here:

A life-preparation to-do list for parents:

• Tell your children to have fun.

• Tell them to make a commitment to honor life in action and language.

• Show your child that truth is everywhere. Teach them how to find it and how to live by it.

• Teach them to acknowledge good deeds by everyone.

• Encourage them recognize good decisions and ask them to consider withholding judgment about bad ones.

• Tell them to gently correct the errors of others around them.

• Don’t do anything that will embarrass them or their friends.

• Teach them to thank those whose job is difficult and sometimes controversial.

• Instruct them to thank their teachers (and coaches, even when the blow it).

• Teach them to be gracious and respectful to those with whom they may disagree.

• Congratulate your children and their friends when they do their best to follow all of the above.

• Ask your children if they are having fun.

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