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How to Talk to Your Kids About the NFL National Anthem Controversy

It’s a sensitive topic, but chances are your children have heard about it. Here are some tips on how to start the conversation with your kids.


courtesy of positive coaching alliance


For parents on the sidelines of youth and high school games this fall, the controversy swirling around the NFL may feel distant from day-to-day sports experiences.

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national organization that partners with 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations to create a positive, character-building youth sports culture, encourages parents, coaches and athletic directors to think about how the present situation can be used as a "teachable moment." Why and how might you talk to your kids about what they're seeing?

Here are some tips for parents looking to have a conversation with the kids about what’s happening:

-- Don't assume your child is too young to be aware of what is taking place at NFL games. We've heard from parents who asked their kids if they were aware and were surprised by the detailed answers they received.

-- Start by asking your child questions rather than giving a lengthy explanation of where you personally stand on the issue. If you go first, you may never hear what your child thinks, and you'll learn a lot by letting him or her speak first.

-- It's OK to model not having all of the answers: "This is a really tough topic. Let's talk about what's happening and figure out how we feel about it together."

Based on our experiences talking with athletic directors, coaches, parents and athletes about these current events, we know these conversations can be powerful learning experiences for all involved. Together, let's make the most of them.

If you’re a coach or athletic director, go to positivecoach.org for tips on how to talk to your athletes.

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