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Here we go, guys! Another football season is getting set for kickoff, and if you are like me you download your favorite team’s schedule, set up your DVR, and make plans to have no plans when it’s game time. With a house full of kids and a load of regular responsibilities, it can be tough to set aside 4 hours on a Saturday to relax and watch the game. But, it can be done. Game day doesn’t have to be stressful for those in the house who don’t watch football. Here are three important tips I came up with that work well for our household.
Make it fun
There’s so much more to college football than just donning your team jersey, grabbing a cold beer, and chilling on the couch in front of the flat screen. A lot of families I know actually tailgate at home or at a friend/family member’s house. At our house, we watch the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide. My wife and I love to make “football food” and special mixed concoctions for the occasion. We also have our kids dress up in their jerseys and even go outside before the game to pass around the pigskin.
Get your kids involved with teaching them about the long engraved traditions of your favorite team. Share the fight song, special cheers or motions with them. Some kids just don’t understand all of the rules – hell, I don’t understand a lot of the crap they are changing today – so, make it fun by teaching them the most important rules of football in kid talk.
Use the time to teach your kids good sportsmanship
I’ve been known to yell at the TV from time to time, and I guess that was ok before I had kids. But now that I have 4 kids watching my every move, I don’t want to teach them that being a bad sport is ok. Use the game time to model positive behavior even when the team is losing or a bad call was made.
There will undoubtedly be coaches and/or players that will lose their cool, and your kids may see it unfold on TV. Use that opportunity to explain what the negative behavior displayed was, and what the appropriate reaction should have been. By learning this behavior from an early age, kids will transfer this to other aspects of their lives.
Don’t neglect your other duties as a dad
Even though football is important to you, there are things that are important to your kids. Your kids always should come first – even if it means missing a quarter, a half, or even the whole game. This is a tough one for die hard sports dads. But, it all boils down to displaying the behavior we want our kids to inherit from us. Neglecting a kid’s sports activity or birthday party that occurs at the same time will teach them that dad has other important things to do – which we know is NEVER true. Be a dad 1st and then a sports fan!