“My child’s a winner! He needs to win at these games!” Shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot I tried again to explain how our carnival games were set up. There’s always one parent that is hard to please, or finds fault with how things are run and after doing this kind of ministry for a few years I’ve learned to take things into consideration and then let them roll off my back. But this parent was insistent, there was nothing I could do or say to reason with her. Her child was a winner and he needed to win at every one of my carnival games.
The child IS a winner, in his worth and value – this youngster is a winner all around. He is not a winner in performance at horseshoes and that is ok. Taking the competition out of life, and/or dumb-ing things down is never a good idea in the long run. Life is hard. Call me a realist but it is. Parents can only create an atmosphere of perfection for their children for so long until life happens. Never allowing a child to lose is ensuring that in life they will lose someday. <— Tweet This! Creating a situation for children to win outside of their ability – is not helping them win but handicapping them.
Loosing is ok. Disappointment happens, its how we handle it that counts. When parents, teachers, and leaders fly in and buzz around like a helicopter to the rescue, we are teaching kids three things.
(1). Their worth is based in whether or not they win.
(2). They are not responsible for their actions – there is no consequences.
(3). Failure is always a bad thing – rather than an opportunity for growth.
Identity and worth do not come from what we do – but whose we are. Win loosest that child is yours and needs to feel an unconditional love – and with that love a safe place to fail. For it is when we fail that we grow! Failure teaches us about love, pride, worth, grace, humility and respect.
Shielding a child from what they are not good at – keeps them from finding out what they are good at. Loosing at horseshoes means that tossing isn’t their thing – but batting might be! It’s all about HOW loosing is handled. Not that you lose.
When we come to a child’s rescue all the time, (granted it’s important to at times to teach grace!) we don’t teach them about logic and consequences (You reap what you sow). Without teaching that failure and loss is ok – where will children be in 15 years? Bitter and angry that the world isn’t about them? Or well adjust and learning as they go?
A winner now doesn’t mean a winner later. It’s never just a game – it’s a worldview.