Lessons for Children from The Olympics: It’s Not About the Medal Count
There are so many lessons that children can learn from the Olympics. From a young age in today’s world, children understand producing a product. Toddlers are asked to show off their latest tricks for excited family members. They show everyone how well they can walk. They begin to sing songs, show signs of logical thought and quickly develop an ability to pass adult tests of their knowledge. They don’t need to know about the Olympic medal count – the product of the ability of the athletes. They need to learn that it is a process. Young children need to hear about the hard work that goes into being an Olympian.
Olympic athletes make it all look so easy. Children don’t understand the dedication that it takes to achieve greatness. It is such an important bit of information as we watch the games. When my children were young, we talked about the hours gymnasts spend in the gym and swimmers spend in the pool. We pointed out the sacrifices the athletes make in order to be the best at their sport. Hard work is the root of success.
We wondered at the dedication it takes to power through setbacks, losses and injuries. I like to talk to children about the athletes who have persisted. Perhaps they were in the Olympics before but didn’t get the medal or had to overcome a hardship. It is important that children know that everyone has tough times but they can be overcome.
More than anything, the Olympics is a lesson in real life dreaming big. Young children whose dreams for the future are so often filled with superheroes, magical princesses, knights and mermaids. Here we have real life dreamers of dreams and heroes of dedication.
When you watch the Olympics with your children or you talk to a class filled with preschoolers about these inspiring two weeks, teach them that it isn’t about the medal count. It is about the people. It is about how people can accomplish the most amazing things.
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