This post was inspired by a child’s football game I attended to watch my sister cheer. At the game I learned that if a team scores too much over the opponents score, this is considered taunting and the team will receive a penalty. What’s more? The team is also required to write a letter explaining why they scored so high above their opponents score. All I could do was scratch my head at this. These children are being penalized for playing so well? How is it their teams fault that the other team didn’t play as well? Would a professional team think twice before dominating their opponent? Of course not! So why should these kids be any different?
As I researched this issue a little more I learned there is a bigger issue. These days every kid is considered a “winner”. When frankly this is just not the case. I am sorry if I am bursting anyone’s bubble but we are not all created equal. You sit me down for a math exam I guarantee you I will come out with one of the lowest (if not THE lowest score) in the room. Ask me to comprehend a book (any book) for you and I bet i could do this better than most. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Additionally we all have bad days and good days. And most of all, there is ALWAYS someone who is better than us at SOMETHING!
This is something we should learn young and learn it well. Because when you get into the real world it can be a splash of ice cold water if you were brought up to believe everyone is a “winner.” You will go on an interview and not get the job. You will apply for a school and not get in. You will fight for the man of your dreams and lose. This is life. Learn to love it.
According to this NY times article, “Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, found that kids respond positively to praise; they enjoy hearing that they’re talented, smart and so on. But after such praise of their innate abilities, they collapse at the first experience of difficulty. Demoralized by their failure, they say they’d rather cheat than risk failing again.”
We are not helping out kids by patting their back for existing. We should save the praise for when it counts so it means something! False encouragement gets us no where.
Since I am not a mom maybe I am totally off on this so I turn to you bloggers and moms out there, do you think losing is good for your children?