I want your child to lose (for their benefit).

Annie wrote:
I heard on the radio the other day that there is a soccer league that plays without a ball so nobody loses.  I can’t believe we have pussified our nation so much.  My husband disagrees and says its good to have everyone winning.  What’s your take?

Annie

Annie,
I heard it too and it turned out to be a joke.  If it WAS true, it’d fall right into the “pussification” that you feel is happening.  I totally agree that we are weakening the children of the nation with several things:

1.  Changing sports so there are no losers.  Yes, there ARE losers in life..we all lose at something in life (some of us lose several times) and we should all learn how to deal with it responsibly, then use it as a motivator to improve.  We need to be defeated in life to know the reward of working hard and winning.  We need rules, fundamental discipline, and we need to know the consequences of breaking rules.  These are all taught in sports in a way that cannot be learned in real life.  Everything in life doesn’t have to be fair and equal, some people can work hard to gain more skill than others, and sometimes, no matter how hard we try, people will still mess things up.  Deal with it and move on.

2.  Antibacterial hand gel and by NOT vaccinating our children.  God help the school official that ever makes a child of mine put this poison on their hands.  First, its alcohol and it absorbs into skin.  Your child is cranky?  No, he’s just a belligerent drunk and you gave him more alcohol than he can handle.  You also killed all of the good bacteria on his skin.  We need bacteria in our lives and our bodies need to have our bacteria fight bad bacteria so we can become stronger.  By constantly killing bacteria, we weaken our own defense and leave ourselves open to an eventual unstoppable attack by stronger bacteria.  The vaccination topic is a touchy one (I’ve already cleared my inbox for the flood of emails from hipster moms) but I fully agree in the vaccination of children for things like polio, and MMR.  I don’t agree on the importance of flu shots and chicken pox shots (I’m especially “iffy” on that one), but I DO believe in the others.

3.  Not teaching our children the value of the word “no”.  No you can’t have whatever you want for meals.  You will eat what the rest of us have and if you don’t like it, that’s tough.  You’ll eat it anyway.  No, you don’t need a tablet at the age of two.  I don’t care if it plays games, you don’t need to stare at a tablet to play games for four hours a day.  You can interact with real people.  If parents are constantly giving in to their children and not teaching them “no” and the consequences for disobedience, we’re setting forth a precedent that the adults are submissive to children, and when more and more children begin to believe that their generation is superior, you get issues like the millennial generation is facing…they generally think they DESERVE success/wealth/etc., rather than having to work for it.  No one deserves anything they aren’t willing to work for.

4.  Teaching them that everyone needs to believe in your social/ecological/biological “cause”.  I don’t care if it’s saving a purple toad, occupying Wall Street, breastfeeding kids until they’re teens, or opening a feral cat farm..I’m not joining the movement and I don’t want you to judge me as a person.  I don’t think it’s wrong to have a cause, but don’t teach your kids intolerance by telling them that people that don’t believe in _____ (insert cause here) are idiots or bad.  There will always be people that disagree with the way you do things.  It’s the ability to coexist with them that is a sign of an enlightened mind.

5.  Not letting them get hurt.  Why the hell have we made everything overly safe?  By the age of ten, I’d had four sets of stitches (thanks to sisters, friends and my own stupidity), but I learned from each experience and knew what to do differently the next time.  Olivia got a nail in her arm when she was five and lived through it (like a chubby little badass).  Why can’t kids horse around at the pool anymore?  Why can’t baseball have real pitchers?  Why aren’t there gigantic playgrounds made of wood anymore?  Because our kids might get a bruise or sliver.  My advice to those kids?  Suck it up.  Learn to deal with a boo boo now and when you start doing the REALLY fun stuff in high school or college, you’ll be better at dealing the pain from those screw-ups.  Not everything will be padded and safe in life.  That said, go out and enjoy scalded ass cheeks on that metal slide.

Whew, that was a long response Annie.  I guess you touched a nerve.  I felt agitated too when I heard that piece on the radio, but I was happy to see we haven’t gone that far..yet.

Sean

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