G1 had sports day recently. It was… um, not too good. He was extremely disappointed about coming last – in every activity. Coming last wasn’t the bad thing. It was his poor sportsmanship that was appalling. It would have been a terrific learning opportunity for G1 – if only he could see it for what it was.
The measure of your worth is not how you behave when things are easy, but how you respond when things are hard.
Such a profound lesson in life but how do you teach it to a child?
They say that sometimes the best way to learn a lesson and truly absorb its meaning is to learn it through your own experiences. There is being told that something is so and seeing for yourself that it is so. Even though both methods teach the same point, somehow, the latter is usually required if we want to succeed in driving the message home. I honestly don’t know why we insist on learning things the hard way but there’s no denying that the school of hard knocks works.
After talking to G1, it became evident that although he didn’t like being last at sports, he wasn’t exactly motivated to do anything about it. Well, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unless G1 changes something, his sports results aren’t going anywhere. The best thing about starting at the bottom of the heap is that even the smallest changes are bound to have an impact – and if he can see just a little improvement, maybe he’ll be inspired to work harder the next time around…
According to the active pyramid, these are the recommendations on physical activity:
Hmmm… No wonder G1 is as bad as he is in PE… That boy tries not to move if it is at all possible. One evening DH came home early to take the boys for a run-around but G1 would rather stay upstairs with his books and his iPad. Gah!
Recently, I got back onto the Wii Fit to improve my alignment and balance (and hopefully get rid of the terrible neck pain I keep waking up with). G1 got excited and wanted to give it a go. Happy to have something that will get him moving, I handed over the Wii remote and Wii Board and told him to knock himself out. And he did… He prescribed himself 30 minutes of Wii Fit activity everyday after school. Okay, so it’s not exactly a massive improvement but it’s 3 1/2 hours of extra physical activity a week compared to… well, nothing. Baby steps.
If we can gradually increase that activity, and refine some of his coordination skills through other methods we’ll have to devise, he’s bound to see an improvement at sports day next year.
And if he does improve, that will be the best personal learning experience he could ever have.