August 5, 2013

Should We Be Raising Losers?


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.


Source
I want my son to lose so he understands that he is not a loser. So that he understands that each defeat can be motivating and it should help push you harder toward your goal. I want him to learn that if he tries his hardest losing is okay. Most importantly, I want him to feel defeat. I want him to know how much it can ache to work for something and it not happen. Then when he's a winner he's sympathetic to those on the other side. 

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. 

Be blessed,
Brittany
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18 comments:

  1. Your son is already in for a great future. Thinking with loving structure and self confidence is a great loving gift from you to him.

    XO hugs

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    1. Thanks Wendy that's so encouraging!

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  2. This is honestly a great post! Do you listen to The Bert Show? Bert talks about the woosification of America all the time, and I have to agree with him. Not everyone can be winners...you have to lose at some things. And teaching kids that winning is everything isn't good either.

    Great post!

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  3. Really interesting post, I don't have children yet, but when my husband and I talk about it, this subject comes up often. I guess when you teach a child its okay to lose you teach them not to be afraid of failing and therefore to pursue what they love. I suppose the first step is to model this in my own life and learn the lessons for myself. Which doesn't sound all that easy! x

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    1. Esther, you're 100% right I think too many of us don't know how to lose and therefore it's an impossible task to teach our children. We should all know how to win and lose with grace and dignity. Thanks for reading!

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  4. I love this post. I think about this often, both with my son, and with the children I work with every day. Some kiddos have such a hard time losing, and I hurt for them. There are others that can take it with dignity. Every time, I think to myself, "good work, parents."

    Great post, Brittany!

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    1. Thanks Lizzy, I can imagine that you see this far more often then I do - it's the job of the parents to instill these type of values and it's great to know that there are teachers and other parents out there that recognize when parents are doing it right. That's very encouraging!

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  6. Your son is already promised such a great future with such a wonderful Mom at his side!
    I love this; "Children need to learn how to win and lose with grace and dignity." Great Post!

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    1. Thanks so much Sierra, you're too sweet!

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  7. "I imagine that teaching him to win will be the easy part; teaching him how to lose will be much harder." I think this sums it up! I'm a teacher and I've wondered this same thing. I feel like society is forgetting that kids need to know how to win and lose to be successful.

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  8. Say it sister! I definitely think the whole "everybody gets a trophy" thing is not good.

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  9. Great post! We definitely need to raise our kiddos to be okay with losing!

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  10. LOVE this! My children will not be participating in associations that don't believe in teaching children how to win AND lose gracefully! Those are important lessons for them to learn!

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  11. I completely agree. I think children are too "babied" now.

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