Not Always a Winner

by FactSnap - Free Business Listings & Article Submission on 03/16/2011 - 10:09 pm

Growing up in the '70s and '80s, I remember losing all the time.  I lost at kickball, basketball, bowling, being the kid with the best hat, being the kid with the best grades and being the kid with the best girlfriend.  Sure, I won a lot too, I wasn't always a loser.  But, I wasn't made to feel like I was a winner when I lost.  I accepted the fact that someone else was better and if I wanted to win next time, I needed to be better.

Realizing that I couldn't win at everything gave me direction.  Had I been made to feel that I was always a winner in basketball, I would have wasted many precious years trying to get to the NBA.  If everyone patted me on my back and told me I was still a winner, everytime I lost a bowling tournament, by all rights I should be a professional bowler.

Children need to understand that they are not always going to win.  To instill this false sense of security in the minds of children serves them a great injustice.   A prime example of this can be found in the recent changes inacted by the youth soccer association in my state.  No longer will kids under the age of fifteen be permitted to play on the same team week after week.  This created too much competition and some teams weren't as good as other teams.  So, each child is now assigned to a brand new team each week.  This makes it more fair for all the kids, because now everyone can be a winner.

I have two girls that play in this association and they no longer want to play. They enjoyed the camaraderie that was found with a team that worked together to accomplish a goal.  My kids enjoyed the competition of trying to beat an opposing team, that maybe they had lost to weeks prior.  Now, there's nothing for them; no challenges, no lasting friendships, no chance to be a winner and to wear the gold medal.  Although my girls were seldom on a winning team, when teams were what they should be, both knew where they stood and what their own abilites were.  One knew she was very good and one knew she wasn't so good.  Both were ok with that. The one that wasn't very good has since decided that soccer may not be her sport, so she's trying other sports and school activites.

If our children are taught month after month, year after year, that money grows on trees in South Africa, where do you think our children will go when it comes time to find a job.  That's right, they're off to South Africa so they can tear money from a tree, because that's a lot easier than working for it.  Likewise, if our children are taught that they are always a winner, how hard will he or she study for a college entrance exam?  How ambitious and competitive will they be when trying to move up the corporate ladder?  Thinking they're always a winner, what need will there be for self-improvement.  And what happens when finally, at the age of eighteen, your child realizes that he or she is in fact, not always a winner.