At some point, you are going to lose.
Our goal is always to win, but you can rest assured that all winners have either lost a lot on the road to winning, or they are going to lose at some point down the road.
I think we have learned the most from the times that we have lost. One of the most important things we have learned from losing is how to be a good loser.
We always tell our kids that we want them them to be a better loser than winner.
Why do we say this?
Because it is easy to win. It is easy to have a smile on your face and congratulate the one that you just beat.
However, it is not easy to congratulate the one that just beat you.
Sometimes we forget that they are just kids.
We have had years to master our emotions, but our kids are just learning to navigate these waters. It is our responsibility as parents, not to just tell them how to be a good loser, but to demonstrate to them what a good loser looks like. When our kids win or lose, we as parents are winning and losing right along with them.
Many times it is easy for us to forget that our kids are experiencing these new emotions and don't always know what to do with them.
If you have ever had to go through a close family member's death or really difficult situation in your life, pay attention to how your young kids handle it. They have many feelings and emotions, but don't really know how they should act. They are quietly looking to you to see if you cry, get mad, or just act normal. They are learning their emotions from you.
That may be an extreme example, but it reminds us that we are teaching our children in more than just words. It is our job as parents to help them navigate these emotional waters.
We have had many, many conversations with our boys about how they should react to winning or losing.
Regardless of the outcome in the show ring, it is a requirement in our family to shake the hand of the other competitors. Sometimes, in the chaos of the the show it is difficult to catch everyone, but they had better make every effort possible.
Is this hard for them to do?
Sometimes it is gut-wrenching.
However, the first step to getting over a loss is to look past yourself and look to others.
Put yourself in the winner's shoes.
If you had just won the show, wouldn't you want everyone to be happy for you and congratulating you?
Are you able to congratulate the winner with a genuine heart?
Not always. But sometimes, you just have to fake it until you make it.
We may not be able to control the outcome in the show ring, but we are in control of our reaction to what happens in the show ring.
Our kids aren't perfect.
There have been times they can't hold back the tears.
I remember the year I thought I had girls instead of boys. The tears were more prevalent than the smiles. We were in uncharted territory of the emotions of a growing boy.
He knew what he was supposed to do, but the emotions were so strong, he just couldn't hold back the tears. The more he tried, the worse it got.
It is a learning process and sometimes it just takes time. However, a bad attitude is never an excuse for not doing what is right.
Sometimes, you have to find a corner in the barn and just cry it out. But, once you have gained control, it is time to go congratulate, apologize, or do whatever it is you need to do.
You know what I learned that year? That my kid isn't the only one struggling with emotions.
That was a very emotional fair week for everyone. One day, one kid would win and the next day the other kid would win. Throughout the week, the kids all got good lessons in winning and losing.
But the other thing I learned that year, is that parents have a time to hug and comfort and a time to require obedience. Because, all those kids navigated the emotions and did what was right in the end. It was hard, but they all learned some really good lessons.
Today, those same kids are able to genuinely congratulate each other because they learned how to deal with those hard emotions.
Are they perfect? Of course not.
Do they still need gentle reminders? Absolutely.
Some of the greatest lessons they have learned are from the poor examples of others. They need good examples to see how they are supposed to react, but the bad examples have been just as important for them to learn from.
They can see in others what they don't want anyone to see in themselves.
There is no excuse for poor sportsmanship, but seeing real live examples of what we tell them not to do has had a much bigger impact on them than our words could ever have.
Winning and losing is a part of life. What is important is what you do with those wins and losses. Controlling our emotions can be so difficult, but it is what builds character. I would much rather have character and kids with character than all the banners in the world.
Banners fade, but character stays.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.