Every parent wants the world for their children. Becoming a mom has opened my eyes to the sacrifices I’m willing to make for my little guy without batting an eye, and it has made me understand how easy it can be to get passionately carried away when you want something for your child. I want Graham to have amazing opportunities and experience feelings of pride and success when he accomplishes something great. I want him to reach for the stars and discover his talents and work hard to move mountains.
But I also want him to experience failure.
I mean — I don’t want him to fail — but I want him to learn important lessons about life through failure, because at some point, everyone fails at something. If he plays sports some day, I don’t actually wish for his team to lose the game or the race, but if that happens (and it will) I want him to learn to accept defeat with grace and the understanding that not everyone can win all the time.
We’re not there yet so maybe my tune will change in a few years, but I have heard from acquaintances who have older children that many kids sports leagues don’t keep score these days. Soccer games and t-ball games are for learning and fun, and everyone wins.
Well. Of course I want my son to learn and have fun. I don’t want him to think, at age three, that winning is all that matters. But shouldn’t he learn that winning is at least an option? And so is losing? Shouldn’t he learn early on that when you win you have accomplished something, but you don’t need to gloat? Shouldn’t he learn that when you lose you can handle it with grace, take it as a learning experience on how to improve next time, and congratulate the winner on a job well done?
If he plays sports for a few years and no score is kept, what is going to happen when they do start keeping score?
As my husband says of our self-centered society, “Everybody gets a trophy.”
But that’s not real life. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy all the time. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t our kids be learning that from the very beginning? Are we just setting them up for even more disappointment if we shield them from reality for their early formative years?
So many questions, and I have no answers :) For anyone reading who has children old enough to play sports, do their teams keep score? How do you feel about the trend of not keeping score when kids are young?