A – B – C … It’s Easy as 1 – 2 – 3

abcABC – Adversity – Builds – Character: Parents, don’t underestimate your children. Give them something to strive for, make them feel that they could succeed with a little more effort – make them want to win! When you have that family game night, talk a little trash, make them mad. I have a doctorate degree and I NEVER let my kids win at scrabble, but they NEVER stop trying.

Here is the Caveat: Sometimes you can do everything right and not win. So remember, it’s not about actually winning; it’s about developing a winning attitude.

I was the principal of a K-5 economically at risk school. When I took over in April of 1993, the outgoing principal informed me that they have a 5th grade/faculty softball game every year and “we always let them win because THEY don’t have many successes in life” – WHAT – NOT THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!! I held a meeting with the faculty and the 5th graders and made it known that from here on in “We play to Win.” We “whipped” them, but they played soooooo hard!!!!!

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2 Comments on “A – B – C … It’s Easy as 1 – 2 – 3
  1. i totally agree i would have told them the same thing you did.
    if you want to win in life you have to put you best feet forward not just a foot,to many time we as people shoot i’ll own self in the foot by not giving all we had to win in the first place. you should never just lets some one win to boosted there egos its end up discrediting your integrity to the game of life hummmmmm

  2. Hmmm Doc, I think there is a distinct difference in NEVER letting your children “win” and playing them to mental exhaustion. I believe that kids are smart and can sometimes figure things out on their own; however, that strategy can backfire. Maybe as children get older they understand the value of what you endeavored to do but at the moment, when they are putting forth their best effort and don’t “win”, that can also develop into a defeatist attitude. Who explains to them how to overcome that attitude or that failure is a matter of perspective. Of course, in an ideal situation, those tormented 5th graders might live for each encounter with the hope they will be victorious today. On the other hand, what about those children who are not as ambitious or those kids who once believed that hard work paid off? There are children who can only be pushed so far. What is wrong with letting them see what winning looks and feels like; especially if they put forth their best effort? We are speaking about “young children” not those who are on the cusp of independence. I believe there are alternative ways to instill the “hard work pays off ethic” in children. Communicate-Demonstrate-Observe-Feedback-Reinforcement (CDOFR) ultimately contributing to character building. Just out of curiosity, what did victory smell like when you beat your kids at scrabble or the 5th graders at softball?

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