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‘Speechless’ Michigan Parent Says Some Kids Are Losers: Patch Poll

A Rochester parent says a flyer asking that the “urge to win” be sidelined at an all-school field day sends the wrong message to kids. “The kids that win and get awards drive those that don’t to do better,” she posted on social media.

A Rochester mom thinks asking kids to curb their desire to win games at an upcoming elementary school field day sends kids the wrong message.
A Rochester mom thinks asking kids to curb their desire to win games at an upcoming elementary school field day sends kids the wrong message.

It sounds so bucolic and good:

Gather everyone together on Rochester’s North Hill Elementary School lawn for one last before summer break, play the games for the sake of pure enjoyment, and forget about winning.

Or is it more evidence of what author David A. Stewart calls “The Wussification of America”?

Yes, if you ask The FOX News, which recently declared in a headline that parents are “speechless” over a flyer sent home to North Hill parents asking them to set aside their urge to win.

“The purpose of the day is for our school to get together for an enjoyable two hours of activities and provide an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to interact cooperatively. Since we believe that all of our children are winners, the need for athletic ability and the competitive ‘urge to win’ will be kept to a minimum. The real reward will be the enjoyment and good feelings of participation.”

Bennett Staph, the “speechless” woman referenced in the headline, reportedly found the words to express her outrage on Facebook.

“The ‘urge to win’ will be kept at a minimum,” she reportedly posted, questioning, “What are we teaching our kids? Everyone isn’t a winner, there are winners and losers. The kids that win and get awards drive those that don’t to do better.”

The field day is scheduled for June 6.

All this raises the question:

  • Do events like this wussify children? Or do you think less emphasis should be placed on winning? Take the poll and talk to us in the comments.
Luther's Fan May 29, 2014 at 07:09 PM
Well in my 50 plus years of living I've done my best for myself. Keeping up with the Jones is due to insecurity. You don't have to always be better than everyone, just be the best that you are able. Who wants to live a life constantly competing with everyone: for what, to prove you're better. There are plenty of ways to enjoy life; it doesn't have to be one big competition.
Bob May 30, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Luther missing the point....teach the children about competition...as an adult, then they decide their due course. Telling kids to hold back on a field day is just plain dumb...let them have fun...and learn from winning or losing....not a big deal. Sickening some parents are so overprotective not to hurt "jonny's" feelings.....geeezzzzz
Luther's Fan May 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM
No Bob, I think others are missing the point. No one is against competition. But does everything have to be a competition. Life's not about one-upping everyone you meet. If kids want to compete have some activities for that. If they just want to chill and hang out, let um. They've been doing organized, controlled activity all year. Let um have a rest if they want.
Henry Schultz May 30, 2014 at 01:59 PM
This is not a black and white issue. I have coached kids for 28 years and there is a way to see gain and have a positive experience in winning and losing. Each practice and contest give parents, coaches, and teachers an opportunity to teach life lessons and help kids in their path to adulthood. The question should not be about competition it should be what are the adults organizing the competition doing to insure that everyone has a positive experience. I have had undefeated seasons which are fun to be a part of but as an educator the most profound experiences I have had with kids is when I have seen astonishing growth. Learning from losses, challenging athletes to better themselves, and overcoming their fears is what sports and competitions should be about.
Cheryl Junker May 31, 2014 at 03:43 PM
Hmm...I guess its no surprise that this conversation has persisted this long. To me this sounds like a battle of adult egos, arrested development, if you will. Everyone meets their challenge or wall at some point. For some it is school, for others, college or sports. Teaching children tenacity is far more important than emphasizing winning. Yes, the world is competitive. Some competiititions are self induced and others culturall. However, there are just as many requirements for cooperation within organizations and communities. If we continually emphasize winning, we lose sight of the big picture and our responsibilities as citizens and leaders for the generations following. What kind of world do we want our children to inherit? Are there not times in which pulling our resources and working together benefits everyone? Have we strayed so far as to not recognize the intrinsic value of friendships and teamwork? I doubt very much that Microsoft or Apple would have come this far if the entire organizations were comprised of Bill Gates clones or rooms filled with Steve Jobs. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. And so it goes for organizations, communities and countries. Divided we fall!

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