Why Losing is Important

losing My younger daughter and I went to a hockey tournament in Wichita this weekend. Her team lost 2, won 1 and tied 1. In my daughters eyes, it wasn't a successful weekend.

You see, my daughter hates to lose, and we're still learning to lose gracefully. She's still learning to find a way to be encouraging to her teammates when the score doesn't end in her team's favor. She's still learning that there's nothing you can do about a referee who makes bad calls and costs you a sure victory. She's still learning that you simply can't win every game.

Losing isn't fun. We all like to be the one that comes out on top, and some of us are wired to be a bit more competitive than others. No one likes to lose, but our kids need to learn how to lose well, how to be a picture of Jesus even when everything isn't going your way.

It's easy to walk into the locker room after you win. Everyone is on a high. Everyone thinks that their team played really well. Everyone is willing to offer grace to someone who made a bad play.

But it's much harder to offer grace when you lose. How do you offer grace to the player who made a bad decision and let the winning goal score? How do you offer grace to yourself when you are the one that screwed up?

Our kids need to learn to lose well because in this crazy life, they are not always going to win. There are going to be days when they fail a test. There are going to be days when they don't get the part they tried out for. There are going to be days when they don't get the job they interviewed for.

Knowing how to lose well means that they don't get stuck in the loss. It means they can analyze what went wrong and figure out how to keep it from happening again. It means that they can offer grace when someone else is at fault. It means that they can move on when they make a mistake.

But none of that comes naturally. We have to teach our kids to lose well. We have to help them find the bright spots in the midst of the loss. We have to help them identify the mistakes they made and how to fix them. We have to teach them to offer grace to others because we all make mistakes and that's what Jesus would do. Learning to lose well is a process. It doesn't happen overnight, and there may be some ugly moments in the learning process.

If we teach our kids to lose with grace, we also teach them how to move past disappointment and look toward the next challenge. We teach them that losing isn't the end; it's simply an opportunity to go in a different direction. While losing isn't fun, it is an important part of our kids' character development.

Share your tips for teaching your kids to lose with grace.