Jul 032014 2 Responses

I Want My Child to Lose

One of the main reasons I like for kids to play sports is because I want them to lose. I don’t want them to lose a lot. I clearly do not want them to be discouraged. But I do not want them to win every competition, trophy, and championship.

On occasion, I want them to lose. (See: What a Child’s Mistake Reveals About a Parent)

Winning is contagious. While it is less important to some, no one hates to win and many are addicted to the feeling of winning.

We all need to win on some occasions. Without winning, it becomes easy to give up. One of the best things a parent can do is find ways to put their children in situations where they will experience small wins. This can encourage their children to understand the value of hard work.

But sometimes they need to lose. (See: Three Things to Do When Parenting Goes Wrong)

And I want them to lose while they are young because they are certain to lose when they are old. What is uncertain is whether or not I will be here when they are old.

Since I am here now, I want my children to lose so I can help them learn from their losses.

The greatest difference between successful and unsuccessful people is not winning and losing; it’s how they respond to losing. Everyone loses. No one is immune from it. Some learn from losses while others never do.

One of the most important things a parent can do is to assist their children through losses in order to train their children how to respond when life doesn’t go their way.

Sports can be a powerful teacher of how to respond to losing. (See: Force Your Kids to Play Sports)

There are three main reasons I want my children to lose in sports:

To help them understand loss is a part of life. If a child wins at everything, they might be deceived into thinking that others lose but they do not. Adults know better. Everyone loses and sports can teach us that fact. Since everyone loses, we do not have to be shocked or depressed when we experience a loss. We can be disappointed and wish we would’ve done better, but it does not have to hurt our attitude, self-esteem, or even ruin our day. We can grieve a loss and move on. (See: What Makes a Little Boy Cry)

To help them understand their identity is not found in a sport. Who we are is greater than what we do. Our value is not determined by our ability on a field, a court, in a classroom, or at work. Competition might reveal our athletic ability, but it does not define who we are. Losing assists with this process. As our kids lose, we as parents have the ability to speak truth into the lives of their children. As parents model an unchanging love which is not influenced by the outcome of sports, we are training our children to find an identity beyond their playing ability.

To help them understand the value of work ethic. The danger of winning is that we think we deserve it instead of earn it. Losing can open our eyes to reality. Professional athletes often struggle after winning a championship to maintain the level of work ethic which gave them a chance to win. Unless our children lose on occasion, they will likely not develop the work ethic needed to succeed in life.

There is not a better teacher in life than losing. It doesn’t guarantee a lesson will be learned but it provides the opportunity to learn about oneself and what is necessary to succeed. (See: Your Child Isn’t That Good)

I want my children to win most of the time, but I also want them to lose on occasion so that I can walk beside them through that loss helping them learn the lessons necessary to succeed in life.


2 Responses to I Want My Child to Lose
  1. […] 2. Sports. The greatest surprise of my parenting life is how little we care about sports. I love spo... https://www.kevinathompson.com/four-advantages-first-born-down-syndrome

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