Posts Tagged ‘life lessons’


You just wait one second there mister!  I never saw in the manual the part about me having to teach my kids what it’s like to be a good winner and an even better loser.  They are supposed to learn that through TV and the internet.  All I have to do is make sure they get fed properly, get a good education and make it to their 18th birthday.. then Daddy is OUT!

Ok, so I don’t believe that for a second really.  I’m just scared shitless at the thought that I have to come up with an effective way to do this.  My assumption right now, is that it’s an ongoing process and I will probably not stop trying to achive this until they are almost adults.  So, knowing this is going to be a grueling task, Im starting young.  My children are 9, 4 and 2.5.  I started with the 9 year old when she started swimming and playing soccer.  She made it seem relatively easy… but my 4 year old son smacked me with reality.  You see, this little guy hates to lose.. hates to lose at ANYTHING.. even racing up the stairs to get ready for bed or bath time.  Hates it so much that if he even comes in second, he’ll drop down and cry and complain.

The first time I saw this my jaw got stuck in the carpet.  I couldn’t understand why the hell MY little boy is wailing at the fact that his little brother (half his age mind you) beat him up the steps.  I mean, I gave the 2 year old a huge head start and he still almost lost.. c’mon kid.. suck it up right?  I’ll tell you how I began this life lesson in a minute.. before I do that, I want to reflect on something that I found profoud in current events.

If you are paying attention to the Winter Olympics even a little bit.. you almost certainly heard about the totally awesome US Hockey victory against Russia the other night.  I didn’t see the game myself, but I read about it and caught all the highlights. Being a huge sports fan..and once a huge hockey fan, I was totally enthralled with the details.  However, one detail caught me more than anything else.. and it really had little to do with the game. TJ Oshie scored the winning goal for the Americans and during an interview he was called a hero.  Rather than accepting that moniker like I think so many other professional athletes would have done.. he made a beautiful display of humility. In a single statement, Oshie showed our kids a perfect example of what it’s like to be a good winner.

Dejan Kovacevic who writes for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Tweeted:

“Just had good talk with America’s newest hero. Only don’t call T.J. Oshie that. “The American heroes are wearing camo. That’s not me.”

You can Google TJ Oshie or you can do what I did and look up “real heroes wear camo” and find a ton of people talking about this.  One article I read is right HERE. It’s short and sweet and has a couple of links that are inspiring as well.

Like it or not, our kids look up to professional sports figures.  Much to the chagrin of many of them, they have this cross to bear, even if they didn’t sign up for it (remember Charles Barkley and this Nike commercial?).  Our job as parents is hard enough and now we have to try and explain to our kids why Michael Vick got in all that trouble.  Or why Richard Sherman is being called a Thug.  The Bleacher Report did a pretty neat job of compiling some good examples HERE.

So, back to my first real attempt at teaching my boys how to lose well and how to win well.  When the 4 year old finished his rant.. I sat them both in the tub.  I got their attention and told them that in every race, every competition there is going to be winners and losers.  IT’S OK TO LOSE!  When you lose you need to stand up and say “I’ll get you next time!!” or “Im gonna try harder so that doesn’t happen again”.  I also told them that when you DO win.. don’t do a happy dance and tease your opponent.  Say “nice job!” and throw em a high five.  I was quickly loosing sight of the fact that I am talking to two humans barely more attentive than a chihuahua.. so I had to bring them back to reality… I finished off with my version of the Hulk Hogan eat your vitamins schtick.

I told the boys the best way to help yourself win is to EAT GOOD FOODS (did I mention that my 4 year old thinks the 4 major food groups are Pasta, Pizza, cookies and Pasta?).  Even the 2 year old gets it.. I said hey #3, do you know what good foods are?  He says “MEAT DADDY!”  So I rattle off a few other good protein rich foods.. and then I said what else can you do to help yourself become a winner?  “Exercise and lots of SLEEP!”.. figure, while I’m at it.. might as well go hard.  By the end of the little speech they were reciting the foods and forms of exercise and even thowing in some of their own.. so I would say mission accomplished this time around.  At least until tomorrow, when we race to the top of the stairs again.

So, Mr. Oshie I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You struck a cord with me not only as a father of 3 aspiring winners but also as an American.  Our media outlets do like a feel-good story but they also know that train wrecks are far more fun to watch and are good for ratings.  We don’t see enough of this.. I for one, am hoping that you inspire a lot more folks than just me.

(top image thanks go to borrowed from-