I Don’t Want My Girls to Win Every Time

Constant winning will do nothing to help a child grow. It will instead provide a false sense of superiority. Working hard and improving are far more important than winning.

Case in point: our swim meet a few days ago. Kaitlyn received 2 first place ribbons. One was because she swam in a heat by herself. When there is no competition, you are going to win by default. The other ribbon was from a relay she did with 3 other girls. This was not won because of her mad swim skills. This child was a little too full of herself.

Lauren came away disappointed because the best she received were 2 third place ribbons. Never mind that she is swimming against bigger and stronger girls. She was frustrated and it didn’t help that her little sister had better ribbons than her.

Just like last year, we came home and compared their times from this meet and the first one. My jaw dropped when I saw Lauren had been 4 seconds faster in both freestyle and breast stroke than the first week! That is huge! She is definitely improving and works hard to be her best.

Kaitlyn had slower times in this meet than the first. Her placements didn’t show growth. When she got a little too big for her britches, I had to point that out. I don’t enjoy watching my child deflate, but if I don’t do it, the world will.


When kids are grown and living on their own, the world will try to make them think they don’t matter. It will beat them down and leave them on the side of the road. As parents, it is our job to show them where their value lies: in how they live their lives. We need to teach them to work hard and get better, and not to be the best but to be the best they can. They need to know it is not all about them but about how much good they can do.

Sometimes we have to let kids fail so they learn the value of pushing themselves. It isn’t easy, but if we don’t let it happen, it will happen eventually. The best thing for them is for them to fail while they have us there to help pick up the pieces. When that happens, we can be there to show them how to recover from the setback and move on. Eventually, the goal should be that they are able to do this without us.

Let’s raise this generation to be able to lose gracefully, to stay humble, and to work hard.

Linking with Holley Gerth


8 thoughts on “I Don’t Want My Girls to Win Every Time

  1. Amen! I couldn’t agree with you more. I am not a fan of everyone getting trophies for participation. The biggest reason is real life isn’t like that, people have to work hard to improve. Kids are so disenchanted when they join the real grown up l world and can’t figure out why the are not being applauded for mediocre work.

    What a great Momma you are preparing your girls for real life. I love the picture of the two of them.



  2. You’re a wise mama. Our natural instinct is to want our kids to always win and succeed. But that’s not always best for the spiritual and emotional maturity. Granted, I wouldn’t sabotage them to make them lose anything. 🙂 But life has a way of creating that balance if we won’t interfere.

    1. I want them to win and hurt with them when they don’t. No, I wouldn’t sabotage them either. (At least I don’t plan on it.) Their lives will be so much better later on if we let them fail now!

  3. I totally agree. Success and failure are both part of life and children need to be taught to handle both well. Some of the schools around here have started doing “non-competitive sports days” so that everyone gets to take part but there are no winners and losers and I just don’t think that prepares the kids for real life at all. I like the approach you’re taking.

  4. A hearty YES! I am so with you on this. I grew up in a competitive family. But was also taught we don’t always win and how to show sportsmanship, i.e. grace, when we lose. Your girls will benefit it more ways than you can know today.

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