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On Raising a Loser

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We just wrapped the 5th grade Student Council elections at our school.  Needless to say, there has been quite a lot of drama . . . from THE PARENTS.

Without going into too much detail we have some parents that are fired up because a teacher tallied his class results early. You can imagine all of the speculation and over-dramatization that has occurred in a  school fueled by parents who want their kids to win {at everything}.

I’m sure some of it was worth an eye brow raise. {I’m trying to justify you a little bit here over-dramatic parents}

Out of a grown woman’s mouth: “I don’t get it. Somethings not right. So many of the popular kids didn’t win.”

Hey guess what? I thought I was cool too, and then I got beat in the 8th grade elections by a girl who dressed up like Barney. Barney. The big purple dinosaur. Take those stripes my friend.

There have been moms on phone calls, calling the principal, emailing the teacher, in short, throwing fits. And guess what that translates into? Bad behavior in your kids at school – modeled by YOU.

Whether you think you are right, wrong, or justified, you’ve just taught your kid something big.

Yay parents! You win at showing your kid how to be a poor loser. Someone who values status more than people. Someone who seeks popularity instead of kindness. Someone who doesn’t know how to lose well.

You’ve just Bush-Gore-d the 5th grade elections and called for a review of the hanging chads. Go home all ready.

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On raising a loser

I’m the parent of a loser. Literally one of the MANY kids who left school dejected that day because they didn’t make it into the next round of the student council elections. I let her skip her dentist appointment and got cupcakes. But we talked about why losing is great. It takes bravery to run and to put yourself out there. It takes strength to hear that you didn’t make it and to go and congratulate the other kids with a smile on your face. And most importantly, it takes a strong loser to move on and try again. Because that is life.

I don’t want to be the jackass parent that pickets elementary school student council elections, but bigger than that, I don’t want to raise the jackass kid who goes and does the same.

Life is full of loss. I’d venture to say that we all spend more of our lives dealing with loss than big wins. Things don’t work out how we plan them. Life isn’t fair. Things change.  Life moves fast. We’re constantly adjusting.

Who wins? It’s the kids who can adjust, the kids who can take their blows and get up again the next day, it’s the kids who thicken their skin enough to take on this big wild world, it’s the kids who know how to lose that win at life.

I want to raise that kid.

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