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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Losing: You Don't Have to Like It


It is curious that in a world where denying someone's feelings is considered a sin, we often dismiss our kids' feelings of disappointment when they lose a sporting event, trying to convince them that winning and losing doesn't matter, essentially implying that their feelings in this case are inappropriate. No doubt, much of this is rooted in the collective horror that many of us feel when we witness people (usually parents) taking youth competitions far too seriously, a topic that I've written about before ("Little League Dads Behaving Badly," "Dancing Moms Behaving Badly," "Good News on Bad News Parents").

That said, there's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Losing is a part of life. Not every job that we interview for, we get. Not every school we apply to, accepts us. Not every person we have a crush on, returns our affection. So learning how to live with losing is a life lesson worth learning, and sports can help us do that. That doesn't mean we have to like it, though. as "Garth" from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade reminded us many years ago, there's a big difference between learning how to live with life's disappointments and liking it:

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