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Parents Corner - April Newsletter 

Welcome to our April Newsletter. 
We have scanned the net to find topics we believe will help parents raising young athletes. No parent is perfect, however, here are some topics that might help you on you way to perfection.

How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child?

There's no guidebook - Jeremy Guscott

Enjoy your reading and don’t forget if you have a topic you would like covered e-mail it to jason@readyrugby.com.au

How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child?

Here are some tips that can make a big difference:

    * Watch what you say. Children are very sensitive to parents' words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done, but also for effort. But be truthful. For example, if your child doesn't make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, "Well, next time you'll work harder and make it." Instead, say something like, "Well, you didn't make the team, but I'm really proud of the effort you put into it." Reward effort and completion instead of outcome.
    * Be a positive role model. If you are excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your child may eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem, and your child will have a great role model.
    * Identify and redirect your child's inaccurate beliefs. It's important for parents to identify kids' irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they are about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping your child set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating himself or herself will help your child have a more healthy self-concept. Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to a child. For example, a child who does very well in school but struggles with math may say, "I can't do math. I'm a bad student." Not only is this a false generalization, it's also a belief that will set your child up for failure. Encourage your child to see the situation in its true light. A helpful response might be: "You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is just a subject that you need to spend more time on. We'll work on it together."
    * Be spontaneous and affectionate with your child. Your love will go a long way to boost your child's self-esteem. Give your child hugs. Tell your child you're proud of him or her. Leave a note in your child's lunch box that reads, "I think you're terrific!" Give praise frequently and honestly, without overdoing it. Kids can tell whether something comes from the heart.
    * Give positive, accurate feedback. A comment such as, "You always work yourself up into such a frenzy!" will cause a child to start believing he or she has no control over his or her outbursts. A better statement is, "You were really mad at your brother. But I appreciate that you didn't yell at him or hit him." This acknowledges your child's feelings and rewards the choice that your child made, encouraging your child to make the right choice again next time.
    * Create a safe, nurturing home environment. A child who does not feel safe or is being abused at home will suffer immensely from low self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may become depressed and withdrawn. Always remember to respect your child.
    * Make your home a safe haven for your family. Watch for signs of abuse by others, problems in school, trouble with peers, and other potential factors that may affect your child's self-esteem. Deal with these issues sensitively but swiftly.
    * Help your child become involved in constructive experiences. Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem. For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps a younger one learn to read can do wonders for both children.

To read more go to Kids Health

There's no guidebook, says Jeremy Guscott

Former England rugby star turned BBC pundit Jeremy Guscott believes parenting is all about learning on the job.

There's no guidebook to being a parent, it's something you learn as you go along. Even my parents are still learning, as am I with my three daughters. I don't want to over push my children for sporting success. I'm more interested in their academic studies.

The first thing to do is find out whether your child enjoys playing sport or not. Schools help parents so much these days.

It's worth having a chat with your child's teacher because they often notice a pupil who has a natural ability or enjoys playing sport. Also, listen to your children.

They often get involved in sport because their friends are playing a new game and they want to try it too. I was just like any other kid growing up, doing the usual things like kicking a ball around at play time with all my friends at primary school.

My parents weren't really into rugby, but they started to go and see Bath play because of my uncle, who is a big fan.

I started playing mini rugby every Sunday morning from the age of seven. But I wasn't really seriously into the game at that age. It wasn't until I started senior school when I really got into my sport. I played football and rugby in the winter and athletics and cricket during the summer.

My parents' role didn't really change once I started to show my rugby potential. My dad wasn't living his sporting dream through me - he was there to support me from the touch line. They just gave me all the support I needed, along with all the kit.

Rugby is a very cheap game to play, the most expensive part of the kit are the boots. Obviously the more money you pay the better quality the equipment is. But I never got the impression that my equipment made a huge impact on their budget.      

Academy Parent - BBC Sport