My husband is devastated because our son didn’t come in first place in track. He is pretty transparent about it. What should I tell my son?
I am a firm believer in training to win the gold. But here is the balance. Your son should know that finishing is the most important lesson in life. I was watching a foot ball game last year of two teams that didn’t stand a chance of coming in first place in their division, but they were holding up one finger yelling, “we’re number 1”. They both lost first place, but they played their game with all of their might. We teach our children to win, to be number one, and almost always that is unrealistic. In competition only one team wins. Only one crosses the finish line first, but they all finish. Every child should be trained that someone will cross the finish line first, but everyone must cross the finish line, and they are all successful because of it. There is something powerful about being a finisher. You finished the course, you kept the faith.
This has become a challenge in our society. If you are an individual of talent or ability, your life is spent with people telling you that you will be great, and we unfortunately misinterpret what that means. We believe that success is only found in the “number one” position and that when someone is faced with a call into leadership, often they don’t even consider any other options except that of “top dog”. Suddenly, teaching the Pre-school children or helping support someone else just doesn’t seem to measure up. Success is not a “one time” event. It is a journey, and a series of victories and defeats. Success is life lived, life experienced and life shared. Winning is not the result of not failing...it’s the result of not quitting. Winners get knocked down. They just don’t stay down. It’s not what knocks you down that changes you. It’s what makes you get back up that does. God doesn’t use the perfect. He uses the recovered. (Proverbs 24:16) WE ARE THE GETTING UP PEOPLE!
Let me caution your husband that his son must run his own race. Help him, support him and cheer him on, but be careful that he is not trying to relive his own childhood through his son. He will transfer his own sense of disappointment and need to his son and the game will stop being fun.