In our elementary schools and team sports for younger kids there seems to be this foolish desire to make everyone a winner. But there are winners and losers. They had assemblies at my kids’ elementary schools, several times a year, in which eventually every kid won an achievement award. When I coached my young son’s coach-pitch baseball league, I was told at the end of the season to get trophies for everyone, including myself. Instead of enhancing self-esteem, the truth is this just diminishes any one child’s actual accomplishments.
In real life, as we all know, there are winners and losers. Someone wins American Idol, the World Series, the NBA Finals, and there are three winners on the podium for every Olympics event. Kids should and need to learn to take their losses and earn and appreciate their wins.
My teen son competed in a local Battle of the Bands, which was open to all ages, so his brand new band (they’ve been together just a few months) competed against adult bands. My son had just taken up drums and their band had yet to perform in public. The judges were music professionals. They were terrific. When it was announced that they won, they were ecstatic as the joy and reality of a true accomplishment showed on their glowing faces.
In contrast, I took my Little Brother (I’m a Big Brother) to a Dodgers game in which the home team was getting slaughtered 8-0 by the 4th inning. Not only did the whole stadium feel lousy, but my “little” was no longer interested and we left.
This is real life. There are winners and losers and the sooner our kids learn this, the better. But, what do I know; I’m just a guy.