Should Kids Always Win or is Losing a Good Learning Experience, too?
Whatever happened to healthy competition between kids? Are we as parents so scared to let our kids lose that we are willing to take away this educational experience? At some point it has become better to make everyone feel like a winner rather than have each strive for their best. This “we are all winners” mentality takes away from some very real and important life lessons.
But that hasn’t stopped one library director in New York from saying a 9-year-old, who won the library’s summer reading contest by reading an impressive 63 books, should “step aside”. His winning is supposedly a threat to other students, who end up giving up, so the director feels that the rules should be changed so everyone can feel better and have a better chance at winning. Wait – everyone DID have a chance to win. They just had to read the most, yet if the director’s new changes take place, winning will have nothing to do with effort, and everything to do with luck. Why should the kid who put in the least amount of effort win the contest? This makes no sense to me!
I’m not the only one that sees this change as ludicrous. The library aide, who spend 28 years working at this library defended the honorable 9-year-old and was let go from her job afterwards. Does anyone else see how wrong this is? What are we teaching our kids if they always win every competition, get a trophy at every game, a ribbon at each race? I’m sorry parents – but that isn’t how real life works.
I’m a parent, too, and of course I love to see my kids win, but I won’t sacrifice the learning process along the way. My son recently went to his second chess tournament and didn’t come home with a trophy. He was extremely disappointed because he had won at the first tournament and expected to win again. Yet, this has been a turning point for him because now he realizes how important practicing and studying has become. By losing (or not winning), he is even more determined to do better next time. And for me, I was proud of him for figuring that out.
Do you agree that kids need to learn how to win and lose or should they always win to protect their egos?