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Abby Wambach On The 3 Things She Tells Her Kids After Soccer Games

Abby Wambach On The 3 Things She Tells Her Kids After Soccer Games

After years of dominating on the field professionally, it’s no surprise that retired soccer player Abby Wambach has solid advice for how to talk to kids after sports games in a way that fosters their love for competition even more.

At HuffPost’s How To Raise A Kid conference on Friday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist chatted with Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost’s editor-in-chief, about raising kids to have a healthy relationship with sports.

In 2017, Wambach married Glennon Doyle, the author of Love Warrior and creator of the popular online community Momastery. Wambach told Polgreen she’s now a “bonus mom” to three kids — Chase, Tish and Amma — whom Doyle shares with her ex-husband, Craig Melton. Together, the three parents aim to raise kids who are informed and empowered.

When it comes to their two youngest kids, who play soccer, Wambach makes a point to ask a few important questions and offer one significant reminder at the end of their games.

“Two or three questions that I like to ask my kids when they come off the field [are] ‘Did you have fun?’ and ‘What was something that you learned that you’ve never learned before?’” she said. She added, “The third thing — it’s not a question — it’s an ‘I love you. I saw you working really hard, and I love you.’”

Wambach, who is a member of the board of advisers for Oath, HuffPost’s parent company, stressed the importance of letting kids fail and allowing them to learn from their mistakes, whether that’s on the field or off.

“Part of what makes sports so beautiful and important for these children is the learning of failing — the learning of failing in the moment, the learning of failing at losing, the learning of failing around their peers, the learning of making the ultimate mistake that makes their team lose,” she said. “And what we parents don’t do well enough is let our kids fail, is let our kids fall down so that they can figure out how to pick themselves up.”