I recently watched an interview where a coach stated that one of the biggest disadvantages we are imposing on our children is allowing them to think that one way or another they will always “win” in life. Everyone can’t be first place. He stated that there are now sports competitions that allow everyone participating to get a trophy. Everyone. Those who have won and those who lost. The more he talked the more I agreed wholeheartedly with him. We are so busy protecting our children’s feelings that we don’t allow them the opportunity to understand the true importance of hard work and the determination that losing creates. We don’t allow them the opportunity to feel disappointment which is the sheer emotion that creates champions. Losing makes you never want to lose again. To make matters worse, we end up with a generation of adults that can’t handle LIFE as we know it.
I will never forget a conversation with my grandmother between the ages of 8 and 10. She was telling me how pretty and smart I was. But she finished by telling me that there will always be someone prettier and smarter. “Remain humble, because there will always be someone better than you. And someone better than them., And so on and so forth.” I never forgot that. And because of that conversation I understood at an early age that some people are just amazing (the olympic type of amazing) and that I just may never everyone at everything. (This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t number 1 at other things). But I tried. While shooting for the moon, sometimes I missed, but I still landed amongst the stars.
Competition fuels the vehicle of success. I want to be better than you. I want to be my best self. The scars we endure in battles allow people to see just how resilient we are. So no, I don’t always let my son win at games just because he’s three. (Sometimes I do to build his confidence). But not always. He needs to know that sometimes he may not win. And he needs motivation to pay more attention, practice harder, and give it his all EVERY SINGLE TIME. No matter what it is that he is pursuing. My job is not to give him a trophy every time he loses yet a huge hug and a “You did amazing you can get it next time” “I will support and help you be the best you possible” “I’m sorry you didn’t win this time” But no he doesn’t get a trophy evn though he will always be a winner in my book.
Until next time…