not a fair sport

Amy - posted on 05/07/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 4 1/2 year old son gets mad and does not want to play any more with his ball team if another kid runs in front of him and gets the ball. I took him out of the game today due to him cring and not playing fair. What is the best way to get him to understand they are a team and have to work togerther

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Kelly - posted on 05/10/2011

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Don't agonize over it. Remember his age and note that he is just in the beginning stages of learning empathy so prior to that it is all about them. Their needs and their desires. You may want to wait a year so they whole thing is not too traumatizing and begin to finds ways to teach empathy and how it relates to sports and life. At his level of course. Ask him to start labeling an emotion and putting a feeling to it. Pictures of faces can help. Yopu can start asking him how he thinks anoterh kids feels when he does something. Google learning empathy for some easy ideas. One of my boys is more self centered but he is also the Captain of his soccer team at agee 12. It helps him to learn action steps to be a leader. What he can do vs. dealing with what he shouldn't do. Changes the it to positive. Teach your son to cheer on the others. If another makes a good catch start to teach him to high five them. When he gets reward by a smile or a good job by the coach for being a helper he will do it more often. Might turn it around for you.

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He simply might not be ready for team sports. At 4 1/2 my son was hit or miss-loved basketball, not so much baseball. He was OK with football. Tot team sports are also a great way to intriduce and socilize kids into what a competiative team sport is. At 4 1/2, I realized that my son needed an additional year or so, so I enrolled him into gymnastics. He LOVED it becasue it was an individual event. Then onto karate. Now at 6 1/2 he is very much interested in going back to basketball, and teh 6-8 year old teams are considered "junior compatitive". They start to teach the kids about good sportsmanship when one team wins and another team loses. But your son might not be ready yet for a team sport.

Jenn - posted on 05/07/2011

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Sharing and playing fair are very difficult concepts for four year olds to learn. Maybe you could have him watch a pro game on tv, or get the coach to explain the game more clearly. He wants to have fun kicking and chasing the ball down a field that 10+ other kids are also trying to do at the same time with the same ball! If he throws a tantrum, have him sit out the game. He will do better the next game, I'm sure!

Isobel - posted on 05/07/2011

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I probably wouldn't let him play until he could show that he could play fair.

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