Why Do We Have To Let Our Kids Win?
BY Denise Albert
I am competitive. I always have been. I like to win. I’m not a bad loser. I’ve lost plenty in my life. Losing is no fun, but I see the value in knowing the feeling; but I try my best to win. **Tying is over-rated**.
**Tying is all my kids know**. They tie in their soccer classes. They tie in baseball. They tie in everything they play in school.
**I recently started to wonder, what’s so wrong with winning? What’s so wrong with losing?** I learned to lose as a competitive swimmer at the age of five. I’m sure I lost plenty of games in everything I played, from ice hockey to baseball to soccer. Losing builds character. Losing also teaches sportsmanship. So does winning. Winning and losing offer so many life lessons. **Tying is getting very boring**.
So recently, my kids have started winning. They’ve also started losing.
Denise playing knock hockey with Jaron
We play a lot of games in our home. Knock hockey, floor hockey, basketball and even thumb-wrestling. One of our favorite games to play is our made-up football version of H-O-R-S-E called C-O-W using a football. In our version of the popular game, we throw the ball, and if the other person doesn’t catch it, they get a letter. The first person to drop the ball three times loses.
I let my son win a few times. But then I thought, why am I letting him win? **As his mother, do I have to let him win all of the time?** Aren’t I one of the best people to teach him the importance of losing gracefully?
Does he, at 5 1/2, know I am letting him win? Does he possibly think he is better? Shouldn’t he know he won’t always be the best.
But I continued to let him hold my thumb down because after all – in todays world, kids tie. So at least he’ll learn winning at home. I purposely dropped the ball and C-O-Wed out.
**But how could I let him win if I didn’t also let him lose.** I didn’t let him lose until I picked up our knock-hockey stick and realized I had forgot all about my hidden talents. And boy was I good at the game. I couldn’t help myself. With every back-handed slap shot I took I scored. And guess what, my son was impressed. He laughed with every goal that swished into that small hole. He couldn’t come close. My husband couldn’t take a game from me either. Win after win for me. Then I thought, maybe I should let my son win again. But I was thinking that the importance of him learning to lose was too great to stop me.
I think my son was bored with tying. After one of his recent baseball games he asked, “Why does Coach Robert say every game is a tie? Coach Darren did that too, even after my interception, I know we won.” Doesn’t my son deserve to know where he excels? Shouldn’t he know when others are better? Won’t that help him decide if he likes something enough to try harder, practice more, or even move on to something else if he wants to choose a different path?
I think he’s at the end of an era. No more ties. Win or lose, he is ready for the real games. And although I may occasionally let him win, teaching sportsmanship is just as important and my kids are ready for that lesson. I believe it’s learned win or lose. Not just from ties. **Game on!**
**[La-La Vazquez](http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/momsandthecity/2010/10/does-la-la-vazqu…) on winning and losing in her home**