I allow my children to win and lose… and I am not sorry about it

Let me open this up to say that yes, I  allow my children to race and play games and make no shortcuts for age, size, or anything else. So, those who win, really win and those who lose, really lose. But I often wonder,  in today’s world am I the only one who allows my children to win and lose?

allow kids to win and lose

This question came to mind the other day when I was at the park with a bunch of friends and Little Miss took off running yelling to her brother, I bet I can beat you to that tree.  Little Man, almost two years older, caught up to her, and Little Miss lost her footing a bit, Little Man passed her, and beat her to the tree. When both children came over to us, Little Man was all excited that he won and I gave him a high-five. I then watched as one of the moms patted Little Miss  on the back and said, “don’t worry sweety, he is bigger and older than you.” She then continued to tell Little Miss that she actually won, because she was younger and the race wasn’t fair.

Now, what this mom doesn’t know is that Little Miss is actually on par with  Little Man and most races are pretty head to head. From day one, if she raced Little Man and lost,  we never made excuses, instead, we told her she did great and that if she kept working she would pass him one day. And guess what… that day has come and gone. When these two race, five times out of ten, Little Miss will win… with no head start. She has this determination that takes hold and she pushes herself.

The best thing is that when she does win, she pushes her brother to work harder and at the end of each race, though there is always some gloating by the winner, there is also a high five to the loser. Now this takes me to this other Mom. Between you and me, I was a bit taken back and a little upset. Not only did she tell Little Miss is was okay to lose, but she also undermined Little Mans great run, by taking away his win.

win and lose

I can understand that everyone parents differently and maybe not everyone allows their children to win and lose, but I am worried that in today’s society we are not pushing our children to be winners… With this outlook that everyone wins, with excuses for losing, are we not hurting our kids? In the end, these children may grow up believing that they don’t have to push themselves to win, but isn’t life all about winning? I don’t know about you, but I never got that promotion at work for losing… I got it for working hard and proving myself, even against people who may have been more-qualified. If I was raised to not push myself to win, would that promotion ever have happend?

So, my question to you is this… do you allow your children to win and lose?

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