Sports coaches are often positive role models in children’s lives
Working with children in a sporting context provides teachers, coaches and instructors the perfect opportunity to be seen as positive role models. Children will look up to you, see you as the person they may want to be and will sometimes mould their lives more around you than they do their own parents. The impact that this platform provides needs to be fully understood in order to positively impact the development of children.
Coaches may be able to demonstrate how to have self-belief and respect for others.
It goes without saying that positive messages in relation to smoking, drinking and drugs should be maintained at all times, but how about other topics like respect, self-belief and determination?
How can a piece of paper teach children about the impact of bullying?
I stumbled across a great story from a New York teacher on how they used a piece of paper to aptly portray the impact of bullying between children. She gave them the following exercise to perform:
She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but importantly, not to rip it. She had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was.
At this stage you can imagine the children were having great fun, jumping up and down on a piece of paper, screwing it up with all the strength they had. The teacher then told them to tell it they were sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it.
She further explained that that is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her that the message had hit home.
Try this exercise out for yourself!
There are a number of ways to get across to children the impact of bullying but this one is simple, effective and more than that hugely impactful. I would encourage anyone working with children, or who have their own to try it and see what positive impact it has.
Let us know how you get on, or if you have any other impactful ways to play be a positive role model in the lives of children you are working with.