Monday, October 24, 2011

Mama A Says: Your kid is a loser

And it is totally ok once in a while.  

Hello dearies--it's Mama A here once again ready to enlighten you with some love and life advice.  I hope you are enjoying the fall and cooler temps as we head straight into the most wonderful season of alllllllll!!!!  

Tonight I'm speaking to my fellow parental units trying to survive The World of PC Parenting.  

And no, I'm not referring to a Mac free home.  

My dear modern mommies and daddies, let's take a trip down Memory Lane.  Remember when we were kids and we got things like ribbons on Field Day for things like actually winning the race?  And remember when we had Spelling Bees and there was one winner and maybe a second place?  

Remember a time before participation trophies and ribbons?  When your hardware actually meant something--not just that you showed up for the event?  

Remember when you had to try out for a sports team and some people just didn't make it?  

Or those times you sold fundraiser items and only people who sold enough items received prizes?  

When did we decide that not hurting anyone's feelings was a prize?  When did we agree that everyone should get a prize--even if they didn't work as hard as the other people? 

So why on earth are we allowing our children to grow up in a PC world in which everyone gets a prize??? 

In my profession, we have to endure auditions.  During my musical career there have been times I auditioned and received the position I sought.  

There were other times I didn't. 

Did it hurt my feelings?  Yes. 

Did it make me mad?   Of course. 

Did it make me want to quit?  Sometimes. 

But I didn't.  

I had sense enough to know that if I really wanted something, I had to work for it.  I didn't have those parents who could donate enough money to buy my positions or the kind that insisted on calling the teacher, principal, AND superintendent when something didn't go my way at school.  Ok, ok, there was this one time I was in a science class of loonies and the boys sitting next to me were trying to electrocute themselves on the table outlets with paperclips when they weren't throwing things across the room and possibly dealing drugs or other questionable things.  Big John did, in fact, call that teacher to the carpet on that one. . . but I digress.  

That was totally legitimate.  

I learned very early on that rewards were much sweeter when they were actually earned.  I also learned that no matter what people try to tell themselves, life is not fair.  There will be times I will be disappointed.  I am so thankful that I didn't have parents who painted a life picture of polka dots and moonbeams and sprinkles of delight. And, yes, there were some very happy memories from my childhood.  However, I was well aware that there were times that life would not work out in my favor and I better not wallow and whine.  

There wasn't time to wallow and whine at the Huddleston house.  

So, if for some reason your child doesn't make the team, or receive the honor, or isn't chosen as a Terrific Kid or hall monitor--GET OVER IT!  It's good for them to feel the sting of rejection and it's good for them to recognize that they can't have everything at all times.  Learning how to accept rejection and failure is a good life skill.  You've got to teach your kids how to shake it off and move forward rather than let them depend on their Bully Mom to fight their battles for them.  

You aren't doing them any favors.  

I mean, you aren't planning to call their future employers after an interview one day and demand to know why your 30 year old didn't get the job, are you? 

Please, for the love of all that's wonderful, don't be that mom!

So, if your kid is the loser once in a while, it's ok.  If your kid doesn't make the team, it's ok.  Stop blaming it on things like the coach didn't like him, or she wasn't the teacher's pet, or it wasn't fair because the tryouts were on Tuesdays and it was rainy and you had comb your pet turtle's hair.  Stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and just accept the fact that maybe, this one time, your child was not the winner.  Maybe they aren't talented in that area or sport.  Maybe singing just isn't their thing (American Idol, anyone?)  Maybe this failure will allow them to focus on the other things they are actually skilled and talented at, rather than wasting their time on things that they aren't cut out for.  

I know parenting is hard.  I know you want to make your baby happy.  I know you want things to go smoothly for them.  But the fact of the matter is, life doesn't go smoothly.  

It's time for them to learn how to suck it up and deal with losing once in a while.  

It's good for them.  I promise.  

Love and smooches, 

Mama A. 
xoxxo  

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