Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Winning and losing-Is it Really A Good Idea To Teach Them Everyone Wins and Never Loses??

We have been to the bazillion youth athletic games where after the game everyone walks away with a win. But I wonder what that will do to them when they apply to a school, go to a job interview, do a real race or play real games where either you loose or you win?

I am a parent to 3 kids, and my son is naturally completive like my family where our 2 girls are more like their dad-not so much! I also have coached youth sports for several years where everyone is just playing for fun. As a coach and a parent I want to introduce fundamentals of the game, learn to respect each other, coaches and refs, be a good sport and encourage one another, and good manners  and teach them safety. Now like I said there is not an official win or loose titles, but my girls could tell you every time how many goals each team had and if they won or loose. They do know who wins and who looses, its how they deal with it that counts. Now for the most part when you shake hands after the game everyone says good job, however, there are those few that feel the need to yell that they won and you didn't. When this happens the kids just look at them while the parents get visibly upset. Then they will tell us that wasn't very nice and thought there wasn't any loosing.

My son is older now, but in the late 1990's his school participated in relay races where there was a first, second and third place, along with participant ribbons. They always tried hard and some would win and some would loose. Or no matter if it were a chess tournament or science fair-there would always be a winner. But now they only have team races were there is no winner and loser. I wonder how this generation will hand things down the road?

I always use encouragement and be positive when coaching and parenting. I always try to focus what we are doing and what could we do differently the next time. I would even say after the girls said they were sad they lost, although not technically, I would ask them why that was and what we could learn from it. So is it really better to not prepare the kids for later on in life on dealing with winning and losing? Are we doing the right thing by sheltering them now and hoping they handle it better as they get older? Or did we always have it wrong by not have a winner and loser?

Just something Im thinking of................