Thinking that it would boost their spirits after a no-win soccer season, when C was in grade school, the parents bought medals for every player. It was all for fun...right?
Or were we teaching them that no one deserved to stand out? Or even worse-that it would be selfish to be recognized because it would hurt the other players' feelings?
This isn't just apply to sports, but to all things that kids have to try out for-plays, band and vocal competitions.. What about when they apply for colleges and scholarships? There aren't an unlimited number of spots available.
Why do we not congratulate those that shine? Why do we not build them up? We instead say, well it was really difficult for "so and so" to not achieve what you did, so could you not say anything about it around them?
If we only gave awards (even when they are younger) to the winning teams, to the MVPs, to the top Artists, and gave them in front of their competitors, maybe it would give the others that motivation to work harder. Or maybe..they will find what their own niche really is..
I have learned that when we don't start when they are young, we are setting them up for disappointment later when they don't get the trophy, award, spot, role, etc.. And-they will have no idea how to deal with it. Our kids haven't learned (neither have we) how to deal with disappointment when they don't do well.
Instead, all of the anger gets thrown at the person that earned that coveted spot on the list. The person who should be proud of their accomplishments is then, no longer proud, but ashamed. They begin to believe they are selfish to even think of being excited about it because someone else is so upset.
T has tried out multiple times for different musical roles or choir spots, and hasn't made them. I've always explained to her that maybe that one just wasn't for her.. Maybe it was meant for someone else..
We've never allowed her to reassign blame to anyone else either when she doesn't make it. It goes both ways, we tell her. You can be proud when you do well and accept that accomplishment as your own, but if it doesn't go well, you can't pass the blame on the coach, teacher, weather, etc..
As parents, it is our job to teach our children by example. Don't blame the kid that got the scholarship, is playing the entire game, or earned that spot on the roster. Look at ways your child can improve and encourage them to try new things. Let them know that it is okay to be sad, talk about it, then move on. If we are stuck in it, they will be too.
I've seen disappointment on my children's faces, and it is heartbreaking. Let's learn how to lift them up from that sadness, instead of wallowing in it with them.
Big hugs to my followers~