I like to think I’m a very ‘liberal’ kind of parent where I don’t sweat the small stuff like is he playing too much PlayStation, watching too much TV or not hanging up his clothes. Of course I nag about studying, about where he goes, who he’s with, what time will he be home – the important stuff! But there’s one thing that I think is very important to teach children – a lesson that will see them through life. You win some and lose some – and it’s how you deal with the win or the loss that makes the difference.
I know winning is very important to us all, especially those who play sports. It’s why they’re in it – to win it. But what about the times when we lose? It’s important to instill in our children that it’s ok to lose, it’s ok not to win and it’s definitely ok to make mistakes. We all make mistakes and we learn from them, so will our children.
We have to teach our children that to be a gracious loser is as important as being a gracious winner. Too many times I have seen children who lose or don’t come first having absolute tantrums. From crying hysterically to being out and out rude or in a ‘mood’ over not winning, I can’t bear it. I know they are disappointed and wishing they were the ones celebrating but as parents we need to teach our children that yes, it is disappointing but not the end of the world. As a good friend of mine has often said being on the losing side makes a win all the sweeter when it does happen.
As parents, to see our children winning or achieving is very special. It is important to tell them how proud we are of them and how well they have done. But is it not just as important to tell them that we are proud of them anyway, whether they win or not! We love to see them succeed but we’ll love them either way and they need to hear this every now and again. Not just when they are winning!
Sunday after Sunday I drive my son to his matches and when they win I say “brilliant, well done”, if they lose I say “you all did your best, better luck the next day”..I don’t tolerate moods over a loss, he has to shake it off and get on with it, and he usually does. Although, I could be eating my words next Sunday 😀