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When our heroes do the unthinkable it leaves us feeling disappointed. No matter the scandal that’s unfolding, it’s important to assist your kids in processing their feelings at an age-appropriate level.

Children naturally seek role models. They aspire to be ‘just like them’ and well-chosen examples can be a source of motivation and inspiration. But when our role models become anything but, what can parents do?

Fast forward to this week in cricket. Yikes!

If you’ve got a little sports fan,…(or just a watcher of the TV news)

You may have been faced with some curly questions…

You might, as a parent, even be feeling a little (or a lot) peeved off.

Truth be told you’re far from alone.

The Australian team’s ball tampering has left Australia with a dirty taste in their mouth.

So, here’s what you need to know:

We’ve determined five important life lessons you can discuss with your kids when those we look up to, let us down.

If you don’t agree, speak up

Who knows if there was any conjecture around the entire ball tampering event. Was everyone complicit? Was there mixed opinion? Did anyone feel pressured?

Right now, we don’t actually know.

But the message for your children is, if other people are encouraging you to do something you don’t believe in or feel comfortable, always try and speak up. Likewise, if you see something happening that you know isn’t right, don’t just stand by and let it happen.

Do the crime, do the time

Smith, Warner and Bancroft have all been punished. As well as the practical consequences imposed, Smith, Warner and Bancroft have also endured huge damage to their credibility, trust and reputation. Tell your children that bad behaviour almost always has its consequences. Whether you’re six – or 26, if you do the wrong thing you need to be prepared to take the punishment that comes with the crime.

Cheating is never the solution

Fact. Nobody likes a cheater. Whether it’s a family game of UNO or a cricket international.  The important lesson about cheating is that it’s not really winning. Cheating is the actions of someone who can’t win fair and square. Do your best, play your hardest, train endlessly but never, be a cheat.

It’s better to be a good loser than a cheater

Being a good loser is a very important skill. Life will undoubtedly see your children not take the podium and being able to lose graciously, is not always easy.  Talk about what it means to be a good sport and how to positively handle the feelings that come with being beaten.

Even our heroes are human

When someone is put on a pedestal they have further to fall. If your child is disappointed in their role model it’s important to remind them that it is human to make mistakes. The fine line with this lesson is to not dismiss the wrongness of the actual act but to also demonstrate everyone makes mistakes, famous or not.

Australian Cricket has disappointed many Aussie families this week. How our representatives thought their actions were acceptable, is almost unfathomable. (Psychology says the average six-year-old understands cheating is wrong!) The only upside to this entire, mucky, situation is that this bad behaviour is good news for parenting. Turn the negative into positive and seize the opportunity to explore the big issues with your kids.

So in conclusion, don’t write off cricket just yet.  Cricket is an incredible sport that builds fitness, self-esteem, friendship and communities. Cricket is part of our Australian culture and we can move from this in time.

As for Smith, Warner and Bancroft? Straight to the Naughty Corner.

And no dessert tonight.

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