If you know me, you know I'm as passionate about my family as I am crafty.
I had an amazing conversation with my brother recently. We were discussing our kids- his are grown & graduating/starting college and mine are just hitting highschool/middle school.
Our conversation was about the generation that thinks they should still be receiving trophies; aka, jobs/promotions for showing up. Never mind that they can't pass physical or perform better on a written test!
My kids seem to be suffering from this as we speak. My daughter prefers not to try out for things because she doesn't like competion. She also explained to me that she hates winning, because someone else doesn't. Hmmm...
My son, just shared his feelings with me regarding Competion Band; that he asked to be visual something or other because he didn't want to be pitted against another freshman trying for the same part. He also thought that everyone should get to play at competions if they were trying hard.
Who are these children? They can't be "I'm #1's" children (aka, me). I once kneed my store manager in the tush just to win at musical chairs!!
Don't get me wrong- I think competition should be healthy. There is bad competion & I'm not that person. I do believe it's okay to compete and not win.
What I don't believe- is everyone gets a trophy for showing up, or that parents should always let their children win at games.
So, where did I go wrong? How, has my competiveness not rubbed off on my kids? I can't answer either of those questions- but somewhere along the line it was probably something I did to shelter them.
Here's where I'm attempting to turn it around and I have to say, the timing is perfect. To my son- if you were at the Olympics and won your 4th gold medal in swimming, do you believe it should given to the swimmer you beat by a tenth of a second? A swimmer that had no gold medals and had trained for four years to beat you?
When you chose not to compete with another freshman, you "lost" first chair without trying. Isn't it better to try your hardest, then to just give it away? There will always be #1, the gold, first string or even 1st chair. Isn't the silver, #2, 2nd string, 2nd chair an easier pill to swallow when you know you gave it 100% & what you have to improve to take the spot next time?
This is going to be a year of winning and losing in my house. My kids have agreed to go for the gold this year. I will celebrate every win and congratulate them every time they tried and came in second, third or even fourth. Losing isn't humiliating- not trying is.
In life, no one is going to hand you a job because they pity you or a promotion because you come to work every day. There are no trophies for participation as an adult. We need to teach or children to try, learn and try again and win/lose graciously.
I had a proud moment tonight when my daughter announced she was trying out for a specific vocal performance. She added, I'm not really interested in the performing venue (basketball game) but, I think I can win!!
Chalk one up for Mom!!