Growing up, I played sports every chance I got. I absolutely loved baseball, enjoyed basketball and since my school didn’t have football, I chose soccer to keep me in shape for the rest of the year. Additionally, I was on a Quiz Team, Bible Drill and in a few other “competitive” but non-sport programs. Competition drove me. I wanted to get the best grades, be the best player, be the fastest on the Quiz Team and excel at everything I did. I’ve let up a lot as I have gotten older, but remain competitive in many ways even today.
I truly enjoy competition. I understand winning and losing. I see value in both and want to teach my kids to be gracious winners and losers because I see competition as an intergral and real part of life.
With that said, I struggle mightily to embrace the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality of today’s generation. I recognize that we all have value and this movement seeks to honor that, but I feel like we are setting kids up for disappointment and failure when they arrive at adulthood without the skills to understand that we don’t always win in life.
At camp, we do embrace competition in many ways. We celebrate winning and losing, but try to create a very positive environment where kids are encouraged to take risks even though they may not always succeed. We hope to help our campers become gracious in both victory and defeat and do all we can to celebrate the journey along the way regardless of the final outcome.
As my toddler and infant inch ever so much closer to that first venture into little league or rec soccer, I am more and more aware of the competition dilemma. Along those lines, I’m reading up, asking questions and doing what I can to prepare myself to navigate the muddy waters of competition as it relates to raising my boys. I came across a pretty cool article last night that I would love to share with you. Take a few minutes to read this and see what you think. Once you read it, please take a moment to comment and let me know how you have approached this with your kids and what you have learned along the way. I see a ton of kids come through camp and know that we have some fantastic parents out there so I would love to hear (and learn) from you.
Here’s the link: The Only Six Words…
****After posting this, it has come to my attention that the blog author may have taken down the post or overwritten it… I am trying to contact him to correct the link or get a copy of the article, so if this doesn’t take you to the article, know that I am working on it…
Have a great week!