Losing Teaches the Most Valuable Lessons

owen cross country.jpg

If you want to get me going on a rant, bring up the idea that “everyone should get a trophy” for participating. Holy hell. This idea that everyone is a winner drives me mad, especially with children. Losing is essential to character building.

Recently, I asked my son, what he thought of participation trophies.

Me: “Hey—just curious—what do you think of participation trophies?”

Son: Long pregnant pause as his eyes shift downward. At this point, I’m thinking he’s going to give me a line of crap so he can get back to his video games. “Funny you ask, Dad. I was just talking about this the other day.”

Me, astonished: “Really, what do you think?” Son: “They don’t teach kids how to lose, and nobody has to earn it. It doesn’t provide the skills you need in life. Just like equal playing time, it doesn’t reward for working hard. It just doesn’t teach how to overcome adversity.”

Bottom line, success is fantastic, but it’s the lessons we learn through failure that really make us our best selves.