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Over 200 top tips and words of advice, to help you really get the most from the time you spend with your kids
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Searched for: 10/17/2021 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
Microblog Microblog

Winners and Losers?

By Chris Barnardo

When the swallows return, cricket displaces football and the summer holidays are only round the corner, I know that school sports day canít be far off. Here in the UK, we hope for a ďniceĒ day, because if rain is threatened, then sports day is likely to be canceled for health and safety reasons. Weather permitting then, good dads and mums up and down the country take time off from whatever they would normally do in the afternoon and make the annual pilgrimage into school to watch their kids compete and hopefully win something.
. . . The big day arrives, and either down to luck, or global warming, it is a glorious summerís day of the sort that only England can serve up. I arrive at the school grounds a bit early and walk round the field, head full of thoughts of when I was a boy, running out on to the green on sports day, brimming with excitement and hope. In my mind's eye, knots of boys mill about in white sports kit, nervously waiting on the call to their events. Freshly mown grass glistens in the sunshine, etched with the chalky lines of that seemingly endless, six lane, running track, stretching off and away in its strangely compelling curve. The long jump pit, raked like a Japanese Zen garden, is marked out with tiny flags and begging to be jumped all over. The trophy tables already looking triumphant, full with polished cups flashing in the sunlight, billow with crisp white linen table cloths fluttering in the gentle breeze, and last but definitely not least, the finishing line twisting in the wind, buzzes with anticipation, waiting ready to be broken by the first to cross it. These are bittersweet memories, because I never held a trophy aloft in victory nor was I ever the first to break that finishing line ribbon.
. . . In those days, sports day at school, like most of the rest of time spent at school, was all about winning, and implicit in that, beating your opponents. Mind you we had to endure the odd pre-sports day lecture about the honour of competing and how to show good sportsmanship if and when we lost. After all, sportsmanship is very important, because one canít have all those losers spoiling the fun for the winner. Iím sure it wasnít always like that. Certainly the English have a cultural aversion to outright winning by doing anything other than turning up on the day. For most of the 20th Century (and likely before that), English sportsmen caught doing any serious practicing beforehand were more or less considered as cheats. In those days, professional practicing was held in very low regard and seen as trying to get an unfair advantage, in much the same way as we might consider the more modern practice of taking performance enhancing drugs on the sly.
. . . I focus back to the beautiful day before me, and search the groups of happy, smiling children for my two boys. There they are; I wave, they wave back to me. Today, there are no individual races, there is no finish line, and no individual winners will repeatedly make their way to podium while the rest of us losers cheer them on with good sportsmanship. The school has been divided into 10 enormous teams, each made up of children from every year. The teams move round the school field each tackling a game for a set number of minutes before all moving round to the next. This year extra points are awarded for the teams that cheer on their fellow team mates on with the loudest shouts. There is uproar as everyone tries their level best to help their team win. Stickers are handed out to all participants to mark their efforts. Occasionally I hear odd parents saying how this is nothing like the old days when there were proper winners. It seems to me that itís only the adults that are obsessed with winning. I think that we feel compelled to imprint the desire to be a winner into our kids in the hope that it will make them more successful, but on reflection, I think it actually makes them far less happy, because for every single winner there are hundreds of losers. It would be a help if we could actually teach our children to confidently do their best for themselves, to not need to have to beat others to measure their own personal achievements and to learn that real happiness in life comes from being able to be part of something worthwhile.
. . . When itís all over I ask the boys which team won.
. . . ďOh we wonít know that till Friday.Ē They both chirp.
. . . But when I ask the kids whether or not they enjoyed their sports day, I get an emphatic yes, and while I may have a host of nostalgic memories of my old sports days, I donít think I could have ever said that I enjoyed them quite as much as my kids seem to enjoy theirs.

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