The NY Giants won the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. In life, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Winning matters – losing matters. But what really matters is how you handle the win or the loss.
Winning matters. When you win, do you figure out what you did right and how you could be even better, or do you slide by on your win? Do you follow the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” philosophy or do you strive for continuous improvement? When our children win, get a good grade, or pass their swim level, this is an excellent opportunity to praise them for all of their hard work. Reinforce how working hard, perseverance, and striving for a goal pay-off. Strengthen your child’s ability to be forward thinking instead of needing instant gratification. Bolster their belief in themselves and their own sense of pride.
Losing matters. When you lose, do you sulk, rant and rave, get down on yourself or do you use it as a learning opportunity? Do you follow the “Poor me.” philosophy or do you strive to do better next time. When our children lose a game, get a poor grade, or don’t pass their swim level, this is an excellent teachable moment. This is the time to reinforce their hard work and to praise their effort. This is also the time to teach them how to handle disappointing situations with grace. Will they give up or come back even stronger? Determination and tenacity are great life skills. Everyone losses – it’s important to make the loss stand for something, to learn and grow from it.
Winning and losing will always be part of life. Along our path we will celebrate great highs and suffer great lows. In the end, what will really matter is how we handle it.