Olympic Parenting Tips – Part 1

Any other parents tearing up at all of the P&G commercials running during the Olympic games? Soft music behind gold-winning performances tugs at our emotional heart-strings and reminds us that no matter how accomplished our “kids” become, they will always be our “babies.” Over the past few weeks, we’ve realized that the Olympic games are a great parenting tool. Beyond gathering around the glow of the TV together, there are actually awesome opportunities that come from the games that open up important conversations with our teens. And although the closing ceremonies ended the competition last night, use the athlete’s stories (and YouTube videos) to talk to your teens about some of life’s biggest lessons.

missy-franklin-parenting-tipsSwimming Missy Franklin: You’re not too young to set a great example.

The buzz in women’s swimming this year is certainly all about Missy Franklin. This 17-year-old won four gold medals this year, showing the world that teens CAN change the world … and beat their records. While all of our teens might not be swimming for the Olympic gold, they all need to be encouraged about making good choices and following their dreams. What they choose to dedicate their lives to even at an early age can set a great example and have big pay offs in the end.

Nick Delpopolo: You will be held accountable for your actions

Despite the fact this U.S. Judo competitor claimed eating “pot brownies” was an accident, he was still kicked out of the London Games this year. He was the first U.S. athlete to be expelled, the fifth overall athlete to be disqualified for positive drug tests. Many were surprised at this news, and Delpopolo was embarrassed. And although his story is that he didn’t realize marijuana was baked into the brownies he was eating, it doesn’t change the fact that he still flew to London for the Olympics, failed the drug test and was sent home. People can only speculate regarding the truth of Delpopolo’s statements, however the lesson for our teens is two-fold. First, hang out with people who are going to encourage your goals – and not set you up for failure. Second, if there’s a chance that you’re eating brownies that could have been baked with pot and the Olympics are coming up (and you happen to be competing) – hold off on dessert.

Stay tuned … more Olympic lessons continued next week!

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