Is Winning Important?
Teacher, teacher me first!
I desperately need to get this off my chest before I burst at the seams like a 1st grader anticipating a candy bar. Of course winning is important! It's elemental/basic human behavior. It's wired into us from birth. So why the encouragement of 'no winners' in school activities? I have yet to put my children in school (too young), but I've heard about sports and activities, usually the typical competitive type, that declare no winners.
Children well before school age know the difference between winning and losing. I looked over the various definitions of "losing" and saw a few words included that caught my attention: "Being deprived of something". God forbid children be deprived of something. I don't like the mentality many parents have of giving their children nearly everything they want and lack of experience with hardships in life. parent shouldn't have to go broke to give their kids the latest toys. The kids will grow physically, but be stunted psychologically, behaviorally, and socially.
No losers is nonsense in my mind. I've seen my daughter, and every other kid I've been around, determined to win...even if it means cheating. That's how ingrained this natural behavior is in human beings. Well, even the animal kingdom needs a clear winner or else many would starve- it's called the food chain. Somebody wins and somebody loses. Somebody is first and somebody is second. This is based on survival as well, which further proves my point about this being instinctual.
All that being said, kids need to lose to learn how to deal with the feelings that go with it. They also need to play to win to develop team work. when a team wins, it usually means they've worked together and utilized each person's strengths. If there is winning and losing, a parent has an opportunity to curb the natural instinct to cheat. This is wrong an should be taught through wins and losses.
My daughter is in dance and the dance instructor asked if we wanted to order her a trophy. I asked 'What did she win'? and the answer is basically it's fun and encouraging to receive a trophy. My thoughts; what's better than that? Receiving a trophy you win. Someday I hope my daughter will win at something and she'll get that trophy and it will mean a great deal to her having earned and received it, having worked hard at something enough to feel proud, and feeling motivated to achieve more.
I think children, and people in general, need to learn how uncomfortable losing is.
"If you can accept losing, you can't win" Vince Lombardi
Don't be such a loser!
If you're not a winner, then you're a loser. And what is wrong with being a loser sometimes? Is it wise for us to teach our children there is no loser. Our country was built on losers. People who failed and lost at something only to do better...become great at something when they TRIED again. i emphasized 'tried' because that's an important part of losing. Try better next time.
I think losing can be a greater teacher and reward than winning in many scenarios. Don't get me wrong I don't believe losing is the new wining because I can't hardly tolerate the incurable optimist or blatant liar and over-compensater...someone who turns losing into the new winning. Losing is not the new winning.
In presidential elections there is a clear winner and clear loser of course, but as times goes on the elected president begins turning his losses into proverbial wins- twisting the words and the circumstances to make his failures look like a process towards winning. Blurring the lines between winning and losing is
- a compass to see how you're doing in the scheme of things.
- a gauge to realize where you're at now and where you want to be in the future.
- a test to see how you handle yourself when things don't go your way.
- a learning experience.
- for children, losing is a good time to teach your child how to handle (it) and their emotions
- a blessing because without losing you will not know how sweet victory is when you reach that point.
- a stepping stone on your way to reaching your full potential.
One argument for having 'no losers' is that it will raise or stabilize self-esteem. Studies have shown that people who reach their goals, set up small steps to achieve the goal, and the small "wins" produce the necessary self- esteem to reach the end goal. In life, self- esteem comes from gathering and taking note of one's small successes or "wins".
Links and sources
- Teaching Kids Winning and Losing |No Sore Losers|Kid Pointz
How to talk to your child about winning and losing. Kids can learn a lot about life by understand how to lose and win with grace.
Imagine a soccer game where every player has the same colour jersey. There are no home or away teams, and every player has the same No. 18 stamped on their backs. No, this isn’t weird dream, it’s non-competitive outdoor soccer.
Crossing the finish line...
What does the future hold for kids who don't lose? That's the real loss. What's possible? Well, it could effect their ability to make and achieve goals, try harder, sameness, seek raises when employed, stay motivated. We are essentially making the winner feel indifferent so the loser feels better.
For those of you who've read my stuff before, I'll preach it again. We are such a chronically optimistic society- nothing can be bad or negative. Hardships are about the only way people actually learn and therefore grow and mature. I've asked "Is Winning Important", but let me rephrase that, "Is resiliency important"? The number one necessary trait for humanity's survival is resiliency. How does one learn resiliency if there are no hardships, if they don't learn from failures?
One recent article I saw stated, "We want to light the little fire in them. We aren't geared towards creating elite athletes, we just want them to be passionate,” said Lee Richardson, the West Shore-based Sportball program director for Vancouver Island. "We try to have (the game) end in a tie".
Be passionate? Light the little fire in them? Competition and winning will light that little fire! You bet! They want them to learn the fundamentals of the sport. I thought winning was the fundamental of sport. And "a tie"! That's cheating if you're fixing the game. "If they enjoy it, they'll move on to a league". Yep, and get a huge wake-up call when competition for winning is everything.
"Everyone gets a turn, no one sits on the sidelines". What? Here's a little story. Once upon a time a 7th grade girl (ok, it's me) was sitting on the sidelines of a school girls' basketball team. It was there on the sidelines that I realized basketball was definitely not for me- not good at it and didn't enjoy it. It was also what sparked me and a few friends to start the Drama Club at that school. I loved being on stage...and I later found sports I really enjoyed. Win-win situation. If I hadn't sat on the sidelines and was involved as much as all the other players, I probably wouldn't have figured out what I was good at.
In life, everything is win or lose: war, sports and the Olympics, presidential elections, contests, the lotto, getting a job, winning the girl, and all gamblse in life. We are over-concerned about grades and yet winning is of little importance. It just doesn't make sense. Losing is an excellent chance to teach your kids how to handle their emotions in a certain setting. We get past the terrible two's so we can survive the losing meltdown.
"Whoever said, "It's not whether you win or lose that counts," probably lost." Martina Navratilova
Check it out!
- Helplessness; Unlearning The Habit That Holds You Back
Do you feel like you've lost control at work, home, kids, family, politics, health, finances? So who in the audience didn't raise their hands? OK, everybody can agree we've lost control in various aspects of our lives- hell, the government has lost c
- Desperate Enough To Succeed
"Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning or creating anything. Period. If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting." Jim Carrey