As parents, our natural instinct is to protect our children from harm, disappointment and failure. But doing so is not always in our kids’ best interests.
When my son was in fourth grade, his Little League team– a team we affectionately called the Bad News Bears – was on a 0-7-game losing streak with no apparent signs of a mid-season comeback. After a particularly dreadful loss, he threw his baseball cap to the ground and told me that he was quitting. “I hate this team. I hate losing. I quit.”
The frustration he was feeling was legitimate. The team was pretty awful. But I wasn’t about to let him quit. Instead, we talked about the importance of sticking with it and being a team player. He rode out the season, and the team managed to eek out a few wins.
Let’s face it. Being on a losing team is not fun. Getting a bad grade on a test is not fun. As parents, we often take extraordinary measures to spare our children from feeling the pain and disappointment that comes along with failure, or simply not being the best.