This week's discussion is about winning and losing (or choosing not to participate in) kids' sports. JP moms Deb Nam-Krane gets the discussion going with her perspective. Ask the Moms Council questions or chime in with your own opinions in the comments section.
: There are plenty of ways children can compete outside competitive sports.
For a couple of reasons, I've chosen not to enroll my children in competitive sports. It's expensive; my children are miserable with seasonal allergies; and having always been the last person picked for dodgeball in school, I know kids can be jerks in those situations, and too many adults will let them.
There are still plenty of other ways children can compete. One of my kids can't ride a bike down the Southwest Corridor without hot dogging past his siblings- including his much older sisters. When we play a board game, my kids want to win- who knew knives came out in Candyland? I can't ask one to spell or add something without someone else trying to elbow through.
I think a spirit of competition can lead to progress in many things and I don't have a problem praising them for wins. What I don't approve of is wanting to see someone else lose or taking joy in someone else's failures. Basically, it's unkind. I have had to remind my children of this many times, but fortunately they become more gracious winners around 9 or 10.
Similarly, I don't want to see them abandon something because they might not win. Failure isn't fun sometimes, but it can be instructive. Perseverance is also a good lesson in and of itself. What doesn't kill them makes them stronger... and of course they shouldn't be playing games that dangerous anyway.