Fantasy sports are everywhere. We all have our personal favorites, but it’s a year-round endeavor. Football, basketball, and baseball are the biggies, but we also have hockey, various soccer leagues, and even fantasy Olympics. (And rugby, golf, cricket, NASCAR…you name it.) What you might not expect, however, is to hear that fantasy sports can be a useful tool to help divorced dads and their kids.
Yes, we are serious. And with fantasy football season fast approaching, what better time to dig into the hows and whys.
What Fantasy Sports Teaches Kids
On the surface, it sounds frivolous and silly, but playing fantasy sports with your kids can benefit divorced dads in multiple ways. It helps develop skills, teach life lessons, and strengthen relationships, among other pluses.
They Teach Patience and Perseverance
Fantasy sports represent a commitment. This isn’t quick, easy gratification.
You have to pay attention and persevere through an entire season. The initial drafts take preparation and research. And once you have a team, you must look at matchups, track injuries, dig into player histories, examine statistics, and more.
Sure, you can set a roster and let it go, but to do it right takes dedication and patience. It may be a game, but it can help instill these values in your kids.
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They Help Develop Math Skills
Math isn’t always every kid’s favorite subject. Some love it, while others take some coaxing to put two and two together.
Fantasy sports involves all kinds of math, from keeping track of points to breaking down statistics and more.
It reinforces basic skills and concepts. Beyond that, you use math to predict outcomes, and figuring out how many points you need to win can involve algebra concepts. It offers a fun, engaging, practical application for essential math skills.
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Learn Decision Making, Critical Thinking, and Problem-Solving
To be successful in fantasy sports, you must take in a great deal of information, look at it critically, and make decisions based on what you see. You examine stats, prior performances, and maybe even weather conditions.
Fantasy sports can help develop logic and comprehension in kids.
Streaks, injuries, whether a ballpark favors pitchers or hitters, and so many other factors all come into play. It forces your kids to look at the game from different angles and absorb a great deal of information.
They then take all the available information and make an informed decision. We do multiple times a day and it’s a skill well worth honing.
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Learn to Deal with Disappointment
No matter how much time and effort you put in, no matter how closely you scrutinize every last detail, you don’t always win. Coaches make bad decisions, players have off nights, and refs blow important calls.
You don’t always get what you want and even the best-laid plans don’t always work out. That happens. It’s a part of life, a big part. Learning to cope with defeat and disappointment in a constructive way is a huge part of growing up.
That may sound mean or harsh, but it’s true. The framework of fantasy sports provides a way to learn this with no serious damage or lasting real-world consequences.
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Strengthen the Parent-Child Bond
For all its other value, bonuses, and imparted lessons, fantasy sports are a fun activity you can do with your kids.
It’s a way to spend time with them and bond.
Following a split, divorced dads often don’t get as much of that as they used to. This is one way to remain an active, regular part of their lives. You can have a good time and connect. Sometimes it’s just that simple.
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