Jayne Gautreau

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Making Olympians out of our children | Moms

I have never been a very athletic person. Even the egg and spoon race proved to be a challenge for me on school sports days in primary school.

I don't care to watch sports on TV; however the Summer and Winter Olympics always seem to capture my attention.

The fact that it only happens once every four years and that there is a variety of events may help to keep it interesting for me.

As I have watched some of the TV coverage, the one thing that has interested me the most is the stories behind some of the competitors. I am intrigued by how and why they started competing.

The determination of these athletes to overcome obstacles, whether physical, financial or emotional to be at the games seems to strike a chord with everyone who watches.

Many have made huge sacrifices to be there. I think for those of us at home watching, we connect with them as they share their emotions and stories.

I also love seeing the support of the families who have traveled to be with them even when it has been a hardship.

I have often thought for some reason that many of the competitors come from privileged backgrounds since they are at such a prestigious competition.

But many have known what it is to struggle, yet they find a way to make the best out of the resources they have available to them so they can succeed.

As a mom to boys, probably the story that is my favorite so far is the three young American‘s who all medaled in the ski slope style.

Joss Christensen who won gold was supposed to be the underdog of the competition. Bronze medalist, Nick Goepper, taught himself how to ski in his own backyard.

His mom said, “ We taught Nick if he worked hard enough, he could do anything he wanted.”

Our three boys may never grow up to be Olympic athletes, but how can we as their parents encourage them to be Olympians in life?

Life has many challenges, as parents we can help encourage our children through them.

Some of our children may struggle with things that none of us could really ever understand.

Hard work, help from others and determination can help our children succeed in the things that may cause them anxiety and hardship.

As a mom, I have a tendency to protect my children from those things and yet those are quite possibly what makes them stronger, encourages personal growth and character.

In allowing them to rise to the challenge, it may give them an opportunity to have the strength to conquer anything.

It may not result in a Gold medal, but the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge or succeeding can be just as satisfying for our children.

Nick Goepper said about his mother, “At the end of the day, I have to give the credit where it's due. Thank you mom for being the most inspiring person ever!”

As I read this, I had tears well up in my eyes. This is a huge challenge to me as a mom.

I pray that I too can inspire my boys to be life Olympians.

Life has many challenges, as parents we can help encourage our children through them.

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The News-Review Updated Feb 25, 2014 07:51AM Published Feb 26, 2014 02:17PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.