Life Lessons Kids can Learn From the Olympicsby Beth Pocalyko
Is your family big into the 2012 Olympics like mine is? We have had such a great weekend with our five-year-old watching all the games and competitions.
I always love watching women’s volleyball, basketball and gymnastics. Men’s swimming has been our favorite so far, and we even got into watching water polo!
I'm giving a big thanks to Google and the internet, so that I could answer my husband's and son's questions about sports that were fairly new to us. We couldn’t believe how physical water polo could be!
This is the first time my son could actually sit down and watch the games with us. The Olympics is not only fun, but also very educational. Here are some things our kids are learning from watching the 2012 Summer Olympics:
It’s a big world out there.
Every time an opponent comes on TV, my son asks what languages he or she speaks. I brought out his kids world map, and I've been showing him the countries the U.S. is competing against on the map. We also talk about the different types of foods that each country is known for.
During the opening ceremonies, he learned about the Queen of England. Luckily, I saw the special on the Queen during her Jubilee, and was full of the history and information on Queen Elizabeth. Of course, I could not leave out the beautiful Kate Middleton and Prince William, so I filled my son in all about the royal couple because that's important stuff too!!
These kinds of conversations about where other people live, how they live, and what languages they speak don’t pop into a child’s mind every day. But thanks to the Olympics, it has been a big discussion in our home and my son has become curious about the different sports, and the athletes playing them.
While watching women’s water polo this afternoon, Nicholas started screaming “Let’s go America!” This is a great time to talk about how proud we are to be American, and how the Games bring this country together to cheer on our best athletes.
Practice, Practice, Practice
We talk to my son everyday about practice. You have to keep practicing writing your name to get better, practice tying your shoes, practice cleaning your room, and practive making your bed. Watching these Olympic athletes, some of whom are very young, and hearing their stories is so inspiring!
Nicholas and I watched Gabby Douglas - at only 16 - gets the chance to win four gold medals for the US. After watching her performance my son asked “How did she do that?” “Lots of practice, and hard work” I said.
These athletes inspire all of us, and I am so glad my son is getting inspired too.
The Summer Olympics happen every four years, and each year a new country plays host. So many memorable moments have happened during the Olympics. Everyone remembers Athens, when Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in 2008 and the 1992 men’s basketball team. In 2012, it's all about what's known as the gymnsastic "Dream Team.”
What will be this Olympic moment that will go down in history? We will be watching!! Hope you and your family are too!
For more coverage on the 2012 London Olympic Games, check out the Olympics Spotlight Page