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Five lessons little league can teach your children about life and patriotism.

I'm afraid I was never very good at sports. I did, however, marry a college football player and together we raised a family of sports enthusiasts - who fortunately got their dad's athletic abilities. In light of recent events regarding sports teams and the national anthem, I can't help but recall my children's little league years and the lessons we all learned as a result of their participation.

1 T-ball taught my children to hit the ball with all their heart by removing the fear of failure. Similarly, strong families help children tackle life with the same kind of confidence.

2 T-ball taught my children that every player on the team was a superstar, as evident by the grandstand of cheering parents. It seems no matter how old we get, we never outgrow the assurance derived from parental affirmation.

3 T-ball taught my children you don't have to be best friends with everyone on your team but you do have to be a team player to win. "Team America" would do well to remember we either all win together or we will all lose together.

4 T-ball taught my children to take off their hat, put their hand over their heart, and give thanks for their country. As a result, for 2 minutes before every public sporting event we were all Americans, the old, the young, all shades, all genders, all ethnicities, standing in unity regardless of how badly we sang or the issues of the day.

5 T-ball taught my children to always honor the other team at the end of the game regardless of the outcome. Sometimes you'd win, sometimes you'd lose, the important thing was you gave it your best, you had fun with your friends, and you treated others with honor and respect. It was called good sportsmanship and it was rewarded handsomely with ice cream and treats for both teams after the game!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had adult little league for "Team America." It seems we've forgotten the basics.

Moms, I continue to contend you are the hope of our nation. Perhaps the only hope. "Team America" is still the best team in the world but we need coach mom to re-establish the game rules. Have family night. Discuss the issues in an age appropriate manner being careful to present honoring solutions and conversations. Your children mimic every attitude they observe. How do we respond to the news? Do we even really know the facts or are we reacting to what we've heard without researching the actual information through multi-source viewpoints? Teach your children to be astute connoisseurs of information and not blind followers of public opinion. Demonstrate for your children empathy that seeks to understand without compromising one's family or personal values. Then show them the power that comes from extreme ownership of one's own success.

Finally, be encouraged. There is no greater power on earth, than the power of your love in your child's life.

Together, we can do this,



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