August 10, 2006

No Equal Footing

Think for a second about all the sore losers you have to tolerate in your life. The co-worker that refuses to be wrong, the friend that pouts until everyone else gives in, the little sister that flips over the chess board if she's losing. Yeah, that would be you, Gilly...hee.

Self-centred brats are made, not born. As parents, it's your job to introduce your kids to the realities of life, the spirit of competition, and the need for focus and dedication. Anything worth having is worth sweating for, and the ability to get yourself up after a disappointment and carry on is the most valuable lesson you'll ever learn.

Not so, apparently, anymore. This article explores the trend of coddling. Everybody wins, everyone's a star.

What a joke. I've long been an advocate of all-or-nothing when it comes to Valentine's Day in the classroom, mostly because I would have ended up with an empty little construction paper heart-shaped envelope taped to my desk otherwise.

But if my kid wanted a birthday party, I did not feel obligated to invite the whole class; in fact, people that did that just seemed to be doing a present haul anyway. End of the year party? Sure - everyone gets to come. But be reasonable.

The article mentions the leaking of the politically correct asinine-ness into sports. How stupid do you think kids are? They know who crossed the finish line first. Way to take away the glory from the fastest kid, and remove any reason for anyone else to try to get better.

Parents, use your heads. I believe every child is great at something. Your job is not to level all the playing fields so that your little Chelsey can pretend she's a sprinter; it's to find out what she really is good at, and happy pursuing, and let her achieve in that arena.

In social circumstances, there will always be the popular kids who ostracize the dweebs. You don't need to make your child less popular, but you do have to teach them kindness, and a responsibility for their actions. And heads up here - they will mimic what they see. If you're a gossiping, mean-spirited know-it-all, don't be surprised if Junior duplicates your odious traits.

The same way I despise children being judged by how pretty they are, I also can't stand an unathletic one who is sidelined in more ways than one. Teach your kids about the big picture. Let them know that oftentimes the nerds triumph, and may even go on to excel in later life.

And sometimes they become writers with very good memories.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you keep on making so much sense we are going to have to elect you Madame Prime Minister. I raised my sons & they are fine, responsible adults so it works not coddling them. You get what you expect & demand from kids & they will cope in the real world a lot easier. Hope your cat is better today. Enjoy you so much. Thanks, Sandie (the Avon lady)

August 10, 2006 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes your memory is astonishing...and no I don't flip the board anymore, although I make sure my kids play a whole lot less violently then we (I mean me) ever did...Rainey for PM, I believe that is something that I am pulling from MY memory banks, too.
Love, Gilly

August 10, 2006 3:36 PM  

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