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We Can Not All Be Winners

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Do I need to say more?  I probably shouldn't, but I will.

My kids love Mickey Mouse.  They watch it in the car all the time, and during this week of sick kids I've let them watch it on my laptop as well.  I should note we do not have a television so movie watching is a huge treat for them.  Now back to Mickey.  I don't really watch them, but I am forced to overhear the annoying voices, and the story line.  In two of the movies they watch there is a theme of everyone is a winner.  In one, they have a road rally where nobody loses.  In the other they have a costume party, and everyone gets a ribbon.  They make a big point about everyone winning and no losers. 

I know lots of people write on this topic, but since this is my blog I get to write about it too.  Everyone wins is not teaching our children the important skills they need to survive in life.  It is teaching them that working hard and doing minimal work lead to the same results.  They don't learn how to be proud of their accomplishments when they have worked hard because the kid next to them who did next to nothing got the same outcome.  

This is why many from my generation are lazy and expect everything to be given to them.  This is why I know I will be a leader in the future because I am one of few in my generation who was taught that you have to work hard to accomplish your goals.  I also learned that no matter how hard you try you may not be so good at some things.  I can't play a musical instrument to save my life.  I have no clue how much money my parents spent on piano lessons, but it was not worth it.  I was good at running.  I ran all the time.  Some races I came in first, some second and others maybe third.  I always placed in distance races.  I was goods at them, but when my track coach decided to put me in long jump because I was such a good athlete we learned my limits.  I worked hard, and I didn't place at all.  It sucked, but I knew it wasn't my strength.  I continued to work on my strengths, and I was always proud of myself when I succeeded.  That has carried over to my adult life, and unfortunately the everyone gets a ribbon attitude has carried over for many others.

I don't want my children to feel like a loser; no parent does.  More than not wanting them to feel like a loser I don't want to see them fail when it really counts.  I don't want them to be like so many I now know who walk into a job with no experience expecting to be the CEO in 2 years, and many really do expect that.  

I have a relative who has an AA in aviation mechanics.  He gets paid very well, but it is never enough for him.  He, at age 27, truly thinks he should be the boss.  The old guys aren't up on the new technology, and he needs the pay raise.  I mean who can live off of $25 an hour with benefits?  He told me this to my face.  I laughed.  I have graduated with honors from high school, college and the police academy. After 8 years in the same career with the same department I have yet to break $20 an hour, but I know with patience the raises and promotions will come.  It takes a heck of a lot of work and sometimes patience to get what you want. Those with the everyone wins attitude can not see this.  They are used to immediate gratification with minimal effort.

For my kids I encourage competition.  Plus racing to get dressed and in the car in the morning is a great tool for a single mom. When my daughter beats my son and me she is excited and happy.  When she doesn't she gets mad, but she tries harder the next morning.  If I told here she won too she would be happy, but she wouldn't try as hard the next morning.  I keep it reasonable for their age.  It's not like if your not the first to the kitchen table you get no food, but you do get your plate first some nights.  Not every day is a competition in our house, but a little competition is fun.  

So Mickey Mouse you can shove it.  My kids won't always win.  There will be bumps along the road that they have to figure out themselves instead of having a magical tool thing that always has exactly what they need.  My children will learn from their failures and successes just like I have because I could not manage my life right now if my parents did not teach me how to bounce back and overcome.


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