I spend a lot of time thinking about life lessons that I want to teach my son. I spend time thinking about virtues that I want to instill in him as he grows. Patience, honesty, hard work and integrity all come to mind. These things will take years of prayer, healthy discipline and motherly guidance if I want them to take shape. I know other mothers are equally concerned with the virtues they teach their children because, as a parent, it's one of our most important responsibilities.
I live in a neighborhood with some great women, many of whom are moms. Among this group of women the conversation about "how we want to raise our children" is often discussed. One day several of us were chatting about a children's soccer game and I was shocked when one of them described a situation when her seven-year-old reported that he didn't know the score of his game because they don't keep track of winners and losers. I'm not shocked because I think the score is important, I'm shocked because without a score every child leaves a winner.
Now don't get me wrong, I want my son to be a winner when he plays. I want him to experience the thrill of knowing that hard work and perseverance can help him achieve his goals. However, the reality is that he won't always win. Children need to learn how to win and lose with grace and dignity.
We're living in a society that coddles children by promising them great success around every corner but I think it's gone too far. Since we don't keep score, we're raising a culture of winners and we completely ignore the importance of teaching our children how to lose and what losing means. We've given false promise to our little ones that they can do no wrong that they are perpetual champions. But what happens as they get older and they run into situations where reality strikes and they don't make the basketball team or when they aren't admitted into the college of their choice? We're over preparing them for success with little mind for defeat.
Right now I'm just trying to teach my little guy to sit up on his own, but I imagine that teaching him to win will be the easy part; teaching him how to lose will be much harder.