Article Source: examiner.com
Article by: Laura Coy
How many times have you heard, “It’s a tie!”, “Everyone wins!”, and “You’re all winners!”? We have good intentions of not wanting to hurt children’s feelings, but are we really helping them in the long run?
This is the second in a series, “C’mon Parents!”, which tackles tough issues that parents are griping about. Some of my ‘mom friends’ and I were recently talking about this issue and wondering how it will impact our kids in the future. We basically have 5 major gripes with telling all kids they are winners.
1. It’s not the truth. When competing, say in a race, there is only one winner.
2. When you grow up, you’re not told you’re a winner all the time. It is our job, as parents, to prepare our children to go out on their own one day. Well, if we tell them they are great at everything (when they are not), then they are going to have a rude awakening. Job interviewers don’t tell everyone coming in for the job, “You all tried hard and, therefor, you all get the job!”
3. We’re doing our children a disservice by not nurturing their true skills. Chances are, your child is going to be a true winner at something. If they think they are winning at everything, how will they grow a sense of pride in their true talent?
4. It’s good for kids to have a healthy sense of competition. It drives them to try their best. Why give it your all if you know that you, and everyone else, are going to tie?
5. Winning and losing teaches good sportsmanship. Children need to understand that when others win, it’s appropriate to congratulate them and then work on how they can compete better next time. At the same time, winners need to learn to win graciously and not to put down the other children who did not win. As with most everything, this comes with practice. The more opportunities our children have to win and lose, the better sportsmen they will become.
So, think about it the next time you want to say, “You all are winners!”. Maybe it is appropriate, and maybe it’s not the best idea. You decide for yourself and your child. Check in next week to read about the latest issue parents are griping about.