Now that the school year is in full swing, there is a lot of action going on in the lives of students, parents, and teachers. Unlike in the summer, activities students do now are graded, judged, or critiqued—as it should be to a degree, but as adults we must always be mindful of how that can create a lot of pressure and can discourage a child.
One way this can occur is in the area of athletic competition. Now I am not going down the road of anti-competition where everyone wins (if you follow the previous link, please understand that it is satire), but we need to be careful, thoughtful, and encouraging.
Competition is good. Winning is good. Losing is good. Yes—losing is good.
Losing is good if a lesson can be learned from it. One of the most important things you can teach a child from losing is that their value is not tied to winning or losing. Rather than asking, “Did you win?”, try something different—”Did you have fun?” or even “How did you do?”—with the you being the singular, second-person pronoun.
These allow for conversations without a focus on the win or loss. You can talk about certain plays, personal improvement, and follow the conversation where it goes—giving you a chance to connect. Give it a try after the next game.