Did you know that there are parents out there who will stop a game between a group of kids before the game is over? Who would do this? People who don’t want their kids to experience failure. Which is pretty much the best way I can think of to guarantee future failure.
I mean, what lesson is being taught by stopping a game before the end? That mom or dad will always stop anything bad from happening to you? If you lose sometimes, doesn’t that make winning even sweeter? There are so many lessons that are lost when helicopter parents (hovering protectively over their children and micromanaging their lives) attempt to shield their kids from the normal things that happen in everyday life.
What are they thinking? Competition fires up the adrenaline, gets the wheels turning upstairs and gets kids to strategize and to work as a team. THESE are vital life skills.
What happens to the artist who enters the real world of advertising and loses an account because she’d never had any real constructive feedback and always assumed her first draft was perfect? I know it’s emotionally difficult to see your child in a challenging situation…your mama (or daddy) bear instinct wants to make nice and create a safe place for your baby to live. But you ALSO don’t want to set your child up for future failure in school, in a job, or in a relationship.
In addition to the harm it does to children, the “everyone wins” strategy can have a very real impact on the parents who practice it. For example, after college, “boomerang grads” end up moving back in with (you guessed it!) mom and dad for a “few years” until they “get back on their feet” and find jobs. And how much luck do you think that boomerang grad will have finding a job interviewer who is going to hire ALL the applicants just so none of them will feel sad?
So unless you want your kids to move back in with you, start preparing them for life now. Of course, this does NOT mean you should go out of your way to expose your kid to failure; just let it happen naturally, and help them deal with it constructively when it inevitably happens. Let them start developing critical thinking strategies and master negotiations and competition skills as they develop other personal characteristics. POP THAT BUBBLE and let them experience defeat and overcome obstacles. They’ll thank you for it when they’re able to maneuver through tough situations later.