This pisses me off. From Kindergarten through fifth grade the school system drills into the minds of children that they are all created equal. Everyone makes the teams no matter how bad they are at that particular sport. They have never been given the opportunity to experience failure. Never! They’ve never been given the opportunity or ‘push’ to try harder or get better because they believed they were all the same. Everything was great and wonderful, it was all rainbows and unicorns.
At the end of the school year I wrote a blog about ‘Bull Shit Awards’ and how I didn’t think children should be given awards for ‘having sparkly eyes’ or for things that weren’t academic in nature. I believe all children have the ability and should have the opportunity to be awarded for improving in school related subjects. An award for being ‘the best hugger’ is crap in my book and a cop-out on the teacher’s part. If the child didn’t improve academically in anything then the teacher didn’t do his/her job. Same goes for teams and sports. Make the kids work hard and practice, let them experience failure early on and encourage them to try harder. Show them what dedication and perseverance will get them. Teach them to never give up. Don’t wait until middle school to teach them these lessons – it’s too late!
Now as a parent I’m forced to deal with this mess that the school system created. How do I convince my daughter that failing isn’t always a bad thing? How do I make her understand that life as she knew it in grade school is over? How do I explain that in the real world you typically have to fail to succeed? It breaks my heart to see her struggle with this. How many kids never try out for anything for fear of not getting picked for the teams? How many kids have parents that don’t give a shit either way? How many kids are missing out on opportunities that could better their lives in the future? If they weren’t misled in grade school I believe this wouldn’t be an issue.
Hopefully I can change her mind and convince her to try out. But then I fear that if she doesn’t get picked for the team she will feel embarrassed and will believe that her parents caused her undue pain and heartache because we convinced her to do it when she didn’t want to. There are no ‘rules’ or ‘instruction’ books for parenting. That’s why I share these tidbits with you. I feel better having someone to bounce these things off of.
I’m thinking of sweetening the deal. If she does the try out and doesn’t get picked for the team then maybe as a family we go to her favorite restaurant and celebrate. We celebrate the fact that she gave it her best shot. Now that I think about it, celebrating certain failures in our children’s lives is a wonderful idea. What a great way to show a kid that trying is important and that failure is just a part of life. I think it’s a great idea for the adults in the family too. I’ll give this a shot and I’ll let you know how it works out.
(Hopefully try out day doesn’t end up as a #100shittydays post!)