This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G.
I am passionate about helping moms raise happy, healthy families. That’s why I share a lot of strategies for encouraging kids to be physically active. Watching events like the Olympic Games together as a family is a great way to expose your children to a variety of sports AND create enthusiasm for athleticism. As a military family, I also cherish this opportunity to instill patriotism and national pride in my children.
Have you enjoyed the first week of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with your family? If not, here are 5 reasons to make the most of this opportunity that only presents itself once every four years.
1. Builds Your Child’s Self-Esteem
My oldest daughter is a gymnast so she watches televised gymnastics events all the time. We started watching gymnastics with her during the Olympic trials. Watching together has given our family an opportunity to learn more about my daughter and her passion. She’s always doing gymnastics at home – inside and outside.
Her self-esteem got a boost from our interest in Olympic gymnastics and her advanced knowledge of the sport, which gives her opportunities to educate us during the events. For example, she had to explain to her brothers why all of the gymnasts were scoring over 10, which they thought was a perfect score.
We loved watching Simone Biles in the all-around competition. You have to see what she does to believe it because the amount of power, precision, and grace contained in that small body is hard to fathom.
My daughter also had to explain to us why Gabby Douglas, a decorated Olympic gymnast, wasn’t allowed to compete in the all-around competition even though she placed 3rd overall in the qualifying round.
Everyone in the family has been asking my daughter for more details about gymnastics and the Olympic gymnasts so it’s given her the opportunity to take the lead in these discussions and be the expert.
2. Introduces Your Child to New Opportunities
If you have a child who isn’t interested in trying any of the “popular” sports available for their age (the ones all their friends play), watching non-mainstream Olympic sports is a great way to introduce other options. A child who is detail-oriented and doesn’t like surrounded by other players might spark an interest in archery after watching it in the Olympics. A child who loves the water, but isn’t interested in competitive swimming, might want to try rowing.
3. Teaches Your Child to Appreciate Differences
Even if your child already has a sport he or she loves, watching different sports is a great way to reinforce the appreciation that every person has unique strengths. This is a point that I think is essential for my own children’s self-esteem AND to make sure they grow up to be compassionate and helpful adults. When they learn that each person has unique talents and weaknesses, they appreciate their own value more and the value of others.
4. Strengthens the Family Bond
As a family, showing your support for Team USA helps you bond as a family as you cheer for your team, celebrate victories, and discuss losses. It might be hard for you to match your children’s enthusiasm for Minecraft or for them to get as excited about your culinary success with last night’s pot roast. But kids and adults alike smile broadly and perhaps even jump up and down, as Katie Ledecky smashes the world record in the 800 meter freestyle and finishes an amazing 11 seconds ahead of the second-place swimmer.
Supporting your team can also be fun. Kids love dressing up for spirit days at school and it’s just as fun at home. Get some extra use out of those 4th of July outfits and cheer on Team USA from your living room dressed in red, white, and blue. If you really want to get in the team spirit, serve Olympic-themed snacks and decorate your viewing area.
5. Encourages Charity
When my daughter was telling us about the Olympic gymnasts, she mentioned that each gymnast on the team had 20 different leotards for warm-ups and competition. Having heard me rant about the cost of new leotards every time my daughter outgrew them, my family knew that this expense alone was probably pretty high. This prompted a discussion about how expensive it is to compete in the Olympics and how the athletes can afford to go. I explained that the athletes and their family make a huge financial commitment to train and compete and that they also have generous sponsors who help cover the costs.
I also explained how we help support Team USA financially when we buy things we need for our family. We rely on a number of P&G products in our daily lives (e.g. Tide Pods for clean laundry, Cascade ActionPacs for clean dishes, Swiffer sweeper for clean floors, Crest toothpaste for clean teeth, and Ivory soap for clean bodies). You probably noticed a lot of these in my post Household Supply Closet Stock List (if you missed it, you can still grab the free printable). Since P&G sponsors Team USA, our purchases help support them too.
Your family can support Team USA (#LetsPowerTheirDreams) simply by purchasing P&G products at Walmart. Basically you’ve already been supporting our Olympians with your regular shopping whether you knew it or not. This is a great time to teach your kids that making smart purchasing decisions is about more than choosing the popular brand, the cheapest brand, or the one with the prettiest package. Whatever your values are – quality, social responsibility, frugality – explain them to your kids as you make your shopping decisions to help them form their values.
So, whether you knew that your preferred toothpaste was helping Team USA, now that you know you can incorporate that message into your next trip to Walmart. Teen daughter needs a new razor? Explain why choosing the Venus® Swirl Razor is a great choice because: 1) It’s FLEXIBALL™ and five individually adjusting Contour™ blades provide long-lasting smoothness and virtually no missed hairs (quality), 2) Has a water-activated MoistureGlide™ serum for incredible glide and a sleek handle with enhanced grip (convenience), 3) Is available for an everyday low price at Walmart (value), and 4) Is a P&G product so a portion of the purchase price goes to support Team USA (social responsibility). Hopefully, that’s what my daughter is thinking about every time she shaves her legs.
Although I’m pretty sure her thought for this picture was “I bet other girls’ moms don’t ask to take pictures of them shaving their legs.” I’m glad she obliged me though because it’s important to me that you know I promote P&G products because my family really does use them.