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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Post 2nd place is the first loser

Before you read this article, read the short article I wrote below. Then let me know what you think. Just as an FYI, I have a 12 yr old daughter who I love and want to succeed in life, hence my thoughts on the matter at hand....

2nd Place Is The First Loser.

“It’s not if you win or lose, its how you play the game.” Really? Last time I checked, winning did matter, you never see the Superbowl losers getting a diamond encrusted ring do you? After a NASCAR or INDY CAR race, trophies go out to the top three positions, everyone else gets a trip back to the garage, hoping for better luck next time. Tiger Woods and Tom Brady get multi-million dollar contracts and lucrative endorsement deals because they are proven winners. At the office, those who perform above their peers are rewarded with promotions and bonuses, no rewards are allocated to those who merely “show up.” So why, in this day and time, do we not train our children to succeed in the reality that is life? We shield our children from reality, more than ever before. We pamper their self esteem, only setting them up for failure when the realities of the real world are thrust upon them after they leave the home. Ever notice at sporting events, everyone gets a trophy or a ribbon? Of course they do! We wouldn’t want to hurt any child’s feelings, even if they did come in 18th place. Guess what, we are telling them that 18th place is perfectly ok, that they need not improve…that their efforts are just as good as the child who practiced hard to get 1st place. Do you think that would fly at your job?

Look at our schools; some are no longer letting teachers use red ink to grade papers because it could hurt the child’s feelings. Everyone gets a star sticker on their paper, regardless of their grades. Even if they are failing, instead of thrusting the reality of the situation on them and demanding improvement, we pamper them with soft encouragement and tell them it’s ok. All those D’s and F’s just mean that Johnny is misunderstood, it’s probably the parent’s and teacher’s fault for not finding the right way to teach Johnny. Again, what kind of twisted reality are we teaching our children?

I can hear it now, the parents who will say that we don’t need to expose our kids to reality too soon, let them just “be kids” right? I have to agree somewhat with that, obviously you aren’t going to treat an 8 year old as if they were a 29 year old dock worker, but neither can we drift too far to the other side of the spectrum (as we are doing) and try to raise them in a bubble, instilling in them all of these false entitlements and false realities. As loving parents, we need to not be afraid to see our children cry, or have their feelings hurt, and when we explain to them why it happened they can strive to put that behind them and do better the next time. The “real world” is still no different than it used to be, only the strong survive and prosper, much like in nature. If you truly want your kids to do well, you will give them the tools necessary to succeed, and in most cases those tools do not consist of trophies for 18th place.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Let me also clarify that I'm not a multi-millionaire, not a top racer or athlete...and I don't think that in order to be successful you have to be one of those. I do think, that you can chose to be a winner in your chosen profession though, be the best at your office or job site, stand out above the vast majority that are completely satisfied with mediocrity... Then again, I guess this world needs people that are just satisfied to show up to work, because it makes it easier for those who actually want to get to the top.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 07:16 AM
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I agree with ribbons to everyone up to a certain age. Why not reward them for getting off their ass and actually trying? As for the grades issue i'm against that.

I'm not sure what the point of this article is, but if it's to read to a child i'm very against it. Winning does matter, but how you play the game is more important. If you put winning above how you play the game then does the end justify the means? I hope not or cops, business, pleasure and every aspect of our world will be doing all you can to get what you want at ALL costs. I'm against that.

Also if it's to tell kids that "winning matters" then i'm for it to a point. I know a guy who is a janitor at a hospital, has a beautiful wife, great kids, and loves his life. I woudn't normally say he "won" based on a quick judgement, but if you look further it's hard to say he didn't win. He's happy, his family is happy, so who gives a shit if he's not successful in the work place. Being a winner in the workplace and making money doesn't make you a grade A winner which is all you talked about in your article.

You push your kids to "win" too much and what do they do when they can't? You set them up for failure based on realities stats that they won't be a super athlete or CEO of a mega corp. I wouldn't set them up for failure, but I wouldn't set them up for winning either. There is a balance...


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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I think we see eye to eye for the most part, like you said there has to be a balance...but right now the pendulum has swung so far to the "soft and touchy" side that we need to bring it back to a happy medium. Like you said, for little tots, heck ya everyone needs to play. Everyone should get a little something. But...ever notice high school football? You think everyone starts? All the players get rotated in? Hell no. The best play, the best start.

I think you are echoing what I also said with your reference about the janitor. If he busts his arse and strives to be the best he can be, then he is a winner and is successful over those who don't give a shit and show up. Then again, if that janitor truly busts his ass and strives to be the best, then at some point he'll probably move up, manage other janitors and maybe even go higher.

Look at your quote right here:
Quote:
You push your kids to "win" too much and what do they do when they can't? You set them up for failure based on realities stats that they won't be a super athlete or CEO of a mega corp.
I think it is ironic because if you think about it, by giving ribbons to each and every kid and making them believe that they are entitled to everything, and that there is no such thing as failure...you are doing exactly what you are talking about^^ By not teaching them that there are winners and losers in this world, we are in fact conditioning them that everyone is a winner, and that isn't the case. Some people ARE better at things that others, so people DO make more $$ than others, some people ARE happier than others, some people CAN negotiate a business deal or communicate better than others. We can't all be all those things.

You have to strive to be the best, in whatever you do, and not let set-backs or failure stop you along the way, because those set-backs and failures will come.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 09:39 AM
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i remember hearing that they no longer even kept score in little kids baseball. i thought what the hell is that. if society continues to coddle and tell the kids its ok to lose then in the end i think we are doing them a great disservice. when they graduate from school they will be thrust into the real world where they are ill equiped to suceed. all of you know you will have to compete and win for the rest of your life. whether it be for a job, a promotion, or even for a spouse. as for the janitor, my grandfather worked as a janitor for like 30 years and he was successfull. he raised his family, paid his bills and can look back on his life with pride. in the end thats all we really have because when we die noone cares if you had a new benz etc. your legacy will be based upon how you lived your life. did you raise your kids to be strong independant law abiding citizens.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 11:41 AM
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with little kids i think everyone should be a winner. As you get older you're a winner with what makes you happy. If you're truly happy where you are, then you're winning.

My brother right now got a scholarship to the best D1 wrestling school in the country. U of M. He has no free time, barely a christmas vacation due to wrestling practice. He barely has a summer vacation, no time for girls, partying, etc. he lives and breathes school and wrestling. Is he a winner? Depends...is it worth what it takes? Some guy who finds his wife in college and moves on while my brother has barely any time for girls would aregue it's not worth it and he got the better deal...

Personally I couldn't put that much time in as I had too much fun with the social scene, etc...just too much other things to do. Depends on what a person wants. Only they can define a "winner" and if they meet those goals, then you're a winner


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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but getting back to the kids.... (age irrelevant), if EVERYONE is a winner then what is the incentive for winning? What if, during a spelling bee, at the end everyone got the same size trophy that said "1st place" on it? WTF? So the kid that studied for weeks to memorize spelling words get the same thing as the kid who played XBOX and just showed up? Do you think Colleges give out scholarships to anyone who applies, simply because they wouldn't want to hurt an applicant's feelings? Pffft You'd better have a good GPA, well rounded and be able to show them something, and the same transfers over into the work environment.

My boss was talking about how his 8 year old just finished a football tournament. 1st, 2nd, 3rd place all got trophies, all the same, even the cheerleaders all got trophies. So, being last is as good as first? Where is the incentive to get better? This is what I'm talking about, and this is why kids grow up to believe no matter what they do, it will just be handed to them, all they have to do is show up. Like Snair said, baseball games with no score? Are you kidding me? Guess what, someone will get their feelings hurt. I hate to lose, I love sports, and we lose and I hate it. So what do I do? I practice harder, to get better, so I won't lose again. Next time we play, I play harder, put in more of an effort etc etc...

I see what you are saying with the whole "just be happy in life" thing but that kind of strayed from what I was originally try to point out In the Army we have a saying "train as you fight." In other words, we are fighting in Iraq right now against an insurgent force, so we aren't going to train for cold weather fighting against the Chinese hordes, because that would do nothing for us. In that same respect, we are not training our children for the reality of life, and at the end of the day it is going to hurt them.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:18 PM
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"we aren't training our CHILDREN" is where you went wrong they are children...let them be children is my opinion. Once they are in high school or junior high then get "trained" in like adults. Why start them off right away? You don't spank a baby do you? why not train them for the reality of being a toddler?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsxcorey View Post
"we aren't training our CHILDREN" is where you went wrong they are children...let them be children is my opinion. Once they are in high school or junior high then get "trained" in like adults. Why start them off right away? You don't spank a baby do you? why not train them for the reality of being a toddler?
I agree, let them be children but don't blow smoke up their ass. I was a child, as were you, and I never got a trophy or ribbon unless I or my team placed top 3 in anything, and even then 1st place got the BIG trophy, 3rd got the shitty little plaque.

The point I'm getting at are these helicopter parents that try to shield their kids from reality. Sure, let them be kids, but don't be afraid to let them FAIL, and LEARN from it.

Even a baby can be trained, believe it or not. If every time it cries, or even looks sideways at you, and YOU pick it up...it will become conditioned to being picked up. Guess what, now the baby can manipulate you, and every time it wants YOU to pick it up, you'll do it (because you don't want it to cry).

Imagine that, an 8 month old baby bossing around the parent. Unlikely? Probably not, because in 4 years that will be the same kid throwing a fit in the store because mommy didn't buy jr the candy bar. Last time I checked, crying and/or hurt feelings never hurt anyone. Sure, if it is sick or has a crappy diaper that is one thing, but I'll be damned if a kid of mine ever manipulates me. *Sigh*, that's a whole different discussion


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