Recently at my grandson’s little league baseball game (ages 6,7 & 8), I was reminded of all of the games I attended for my son. Have you ever watched parents at a little league game? The parents are much more competitive than the kids, not realizing that the kids are watching their every move. And, yes, I was one of these parents!
Unfortunately we lost the game. The boys were very upset and the parents were too. I watched the boys as they lined up to give the “good game” high five and many were reluctant to give it. Our team has only lost three games, so they aren’t very good losers. What do we teach our children about losing? Are we instilling in them the life skills they need to be able to handle this at their young age? At any age?
Winning and losing is all a part of life. If we aren’t teaching our kids how to handle this, then how will they know how to be a gracious loser? Is there a such thing as a gracious loser? I believe there is. In this society, there are too many kids that are unable to handle what life is throwing at them. They turn to bullying, drugs, and other “mind altering” substances just to cope with disappointment.
As parents, we need to sit with our children and talk to them about how life will not always be about winning and everything will not always go their way. Life is about tough choices and making the right choices. They need to learn to be happy for other people. We must also teach them to do their best and that we will be proud of them NO MATTER WHAT. It’s never too late to have this discussion. Talk WITH your kids. Teach them to be proud of their efforts, no matter the outcome.