We seem to have an issue going on in our society. People seem to think that self esteem will be destroyed if there are actual winners and losers in games or in school. There is an “everyone must win” atmosphere that, I believe, isn’t helping us. I have a couple friends teaching at the collegiate level. There are students that come in absolutely offended they didn’t get an A. When asked why, the simple response is, “Because you didn’t earn it.” The fact of the matter is that not everyone can win. Not everyone deserves “the prize” if they don’t have the hard work or natural talent to back it up. Always winning won’t happen in school in jobs or in life. Abby and Kenzie will sometimes race to the car. If Kenzie wins, sometimes she’ll shout out, “I won!” While I don’t promote bragging, the fact of the matter is that she won. Abby has started to say, “Don’t say, ‘I won.’ It makes me feel bad.” I have said, “Abby, she did win. You’ll have to learn to not feel bad because there are going to be a lot of times in life when you don’t win. You’ll try and have fun, but we can’t feel bad every time someone else wins.” I will also correct them if they say, “We both won,” when it’s obviously not true. I want my kids to learn to celebrate the victories of others. Jesus said, “The last shall be first.” We need to learn to be willing to be humbled and not always need to be first at everything. It’s not how life works. It’s disabling to teach kids that everyone wins. They will start to develop a entitled attitude when they think everyone wins despite someone else’s obvious talents, determination or hard work. You could use the Olympics as starting point for this conversation with your own kids (If you want to see how we made the paper plate Olympic rings pictured above click here). You can also teach this by not letting them win at every game. Teach them to be positive when others win. Teach them that patience, perseverance, and practice can help them achieve more. Guide them to things they enjoy as well as will find some success in to help build confidence. Help them to know that celebrating other people’s victories may be hard, but it is a part of life that we need to embrace.
Day #215 – Not Everyone Wins
August 2, 2012 by 3 Comments