Life is one big competition . I don’t care if you decide not participate in life sooner or later you are going to vie for some sort of position .Whether its from your favorite seat in church or being first in line at a black Friday Sale , competition is bound to happen and your attitude about it determines the proper outcome . You learn your first lesson in competition around age two. That is just about the time when a toddler realizes that they can possibly out run their parents. I’ve seen them try to crawl away and eventually try to run away. They think its funny to watch us chase them and just when they think they have gained momentum its up to the parents to grab them and let them know who’s boss. After all that’s what parenting is about , teaching and training children to become tiny adults.  And its no fun winning every time , you need to experience the agony of defeat.  Which is why I don’t understand this thing where everyone gets awarded even if you do a crappy job . Like why? What does this even mean? Who thought of this ?

I teach my children the art of the competition in every area of life. Ask me why ? Glad you asked …well one day I had to realize that they were going to encounter someone who is faster or smarter than they are and they needed to understand how to overcome that instead of bailing out. Or just deciding to be a loser. When I was growing up my parents put us through situations where we had to just figure out things . If we played monopoly or uno or even tennis and we often didn’t win against our parents. They didn’t make it easy for us they taught us the game and we had to play fair enough to learn how it is to be played. Then we had to sit and learn a strategy in order for us to win . Some people call this problem solving . I would spend hours just relying on my own ability to take mental notes of what my parents were doing to win the game to out wit my opponent  ( which was usually my brother ) and most of the time I would come out on top. Once I started in on my winning streak my brother would try to change the rules in order for him to have the upper hand . You just cannot allow your younger sister to beat you at a game that you taught her to play . This is how life is . Of course I cried and complained and then I quickly learned that wasn’t going to change things I had to learn to out wit a cheater at that point.

Strangely enough we have taken these simple rules of competition and tried to change them . It is no longer healthy competition . We have exchanged handshakes for gun violence . Instead of walking away upset we have decided that retaliation is the only way to remedy failure. Suicide rates have increased because we have not learned to lose successfully . Have we not understood that winning and losing is a part of life?  Recently progress reports came out and on my daughters progress report was a big fat 86 from one of her test. See previously she had this wonderful teacher ( not taking away from the teacher this year ) who paid attention to details and helped them find their way through the school year. Needless to say she was used to getting 100’s on everything and when she saw that on her progress report she immediately wanted to shift the blame. I explained to her that she was the one who took the test and it was her responsibility to remember what she had learned. She was sad and she was disappointed. I talked to her like the adult she wants to be ( she is only 7 with an old soul) I gave her some strategies to improve that grade and she retreated to her favorite room in the house. She probably didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day because she was studying. The day after was test day again. This time on the test she came home with a score of 100. I asked her what did she learn from that lesson , she said I need to pay attention to details and study harder.  She told me she knew the work but she didn’t try her hardest.

One of the worse parts of life is losing . I’ve lost in games, pageants, shoes, friends and more . In those times I have to reflect back on the life lessons I was taught as a kid.  Learn the strategy , remember the rules and play the game fair and concise.  These are lessons that I passed down to my children. Each day I ask them the same question, how did you do today in school ? Do you think you were successful? If you were not what can you do to be better? Each day I get a different answer daily and a lot of days I get mommy I’m done with school (LOL)  . I  am always thrilled when I hear them say I want to practice more when I get home or can you help me . I always encourage them with tomorrow is another day that you can try even harder.  Learn how to deal with life’s competitions. Compete fairly, without hesitation and never retreat or revert to violence to handle situations. You can achieve when you learn how to play the game of life… Basically…

 

 

Tesha

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