No one likes to lose. No one.
Oh sure, some of us are more competitive than others, but no one enjoys losing.
Even so, losing is inevitable.
I mean, at some point, all of us lose in sports…in business…in life.
The important thing though, is not the fact that we lose, but rather how we handle it.
Do we stay down or do we get up? Do we handle losing with grace and dignity? Do we lash out at others in defeat?
I do think there’s a right and a wrong way to lose.
That’s why we can’t just let kids our win at everything.
Kids have to learn how to lose. And, the only way to do that is to actually lose…it can’t be simulated.
Losing teaches kids perseverance…it teaches them to work harder and to appreciate winning (success).
That’s why I want my kids to be losers now. That’s why I want them to face trials now, so they learn how to handle adversity before its too late.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never root for my kids to lose at anything. I’m their #1 fan!
I’m just not going to shield them from the agony of defeat.
I mean, it’s so tempting to let our kids win at everything, isn’t it? (from checkers to hide-and-go-seek to H-O-R-S-E) Of course, we all want to see our kids succeed. We want to see them smile. We want to see them have fun! (And, how do you spell fun? W-I-N!)
And I confess, sometimes I really want to let them win just because it’s so much easier to deal with. I mean, parenting can wear you out!
But, if they always win…I am doing them a disservice.
I remember one day when my son, Colton, and I were shooting basketball. He would get incredibly upset every time he missed, which was most of the time since he’s only three.
Right away, though, I knew I had to address this.
I decided that each time I missed, I would pick up my ball and say “sometimes you miss!” and then quickly take another shot.
What happened next? He started doing the exact same thing!
He stopped being so upset about missing every time. In that cute 3-year-old voice, he would say “sometimes you miss, Daddy!”
Colton had so much more fun after he figured out that missing was part of the game…it was normal. (Just like in life!)
It’s funny, once he saw me fail and how I dealt with it, he had a much easier time dealing with it himself.
As parents, it’s our responsibility to teach our kids how to lose. Share your loses with them. For starters, it lets them know that you aren’t perfect! It also gives them an opportunity to learn how you respond…the right way.
You know, the child who doesn’t learn how to lose today becomes the adult who can’t deal with losing tomorrow…the adult who starts fights at little league games, who waits for referees in the parking lot after basketball games, who blames everyone else for their losses.
So, the next time you and your kids pull out the checker board, don’t hold back…well, much. Just remember there’s a right way to win too!
I'd like to hear from you! How do you help your kids deal with losing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.