Meaningful Parenting- Everyone doesn't WIN.
So, there is a new concept doing rounds- "WE ALL WIN."
Day- 13th July 2017
Time 5:00 pm
Place- Playground, Irvine, California
A group of boys( 5-8-year-old) caught up in a brawl over who won; I hear an 8-year-old boy chip in and say- "It's okay, we all win. Let's do it that way."
I read on Whatsapp that schools are doing away with competitive races, birthday parties have done away with games which require a winner or loser, and passing the parcel has become a game of - 'all win' and 'all get gifts.' Why?
When did this wave come, from where, and why?
When and where, I am unsure of; however, I understand the why: To ensure that children don't get caught up in the winning losing equation and feel emotionally scraped, etc.
Parenting comes with this ferocious emotion of protection and security. However, what's so grossly wrong about losing?
In real life - NOT EVERYONE WINS. Some come 1st in their class, some get 60%, some get through IIT, and some slog through years to get into XYZ college. Some land up with a seven-figure salary, and some start with four-figure—different kids, different aspirations, different levels of focus and hard work, and different life circumstances. There is only one similarity- they have to all live their real lives, and in real life, one wins other losses.
So, what about their hurt?
The answer is a question in itself. What's wrong with getting hurt? It's only when you raise children labeling hurt as a 'HURT' that it HURTS.
But a 'HURT' hurts?
Yes! It does. Let it hurt a bit. Let the child know that he lost that game, and it isn't a pleasant feeling.
Then comes the icing- "You can try next time, I saw you put in lots of efforts, things happen, it's not the end, it doesn't make you a bad or an incapable person, you can do it again, I know it hurts, and it's okay to feel bad and disappointed, but we are all there with you, and you shall try again. Remember, this is life, and not everybody wins. In this space and moment between winning and losing lies 'YOU' and your strength and character. We will deal with it and grow."
Unless the world is ready to become a socially just, economically equal, politically fair and truthful, and environmentally clean one, I shall continue telling my son- ''You have lost, it's not a great feeling, I understand, but it's okay. Your stamina was great while running. I witnessed that. Let's try again."
To coach him to face and deal with failures, exercise persistence, and bounce back is on my agenda. Oh boy, I must say this is one skill which will be used extensively in life. As of now, for that one game of Snake and Ladder when this 4-year-old boy of mine wails the moment a snake bites him, and he throws the game in exasperation, I let him win just to restore some peace at home. It's okay. I don't have to start an expedition to make him a robust, iron man who remains undeterred in the face of a storm. :)
But I do not let it be my preferred parenting style.
It is difficult for him to understand the merit in adversity; I choose age-appropriate words to explain. The world is not our desirable haven as much as we would want it to be; we must learn to deal with it anyway.