winningOne day when Page was about four-years-old she and a friend were playing upstairs. I could hear them having a series of races down the hallway, which Page kept losing. (Apparently at times I allow running inside the house, but this story isn’t about those questionable choices…)

After about 20 minutes of racing and losing, Page came downstairs to get me. Frustrated she exclaimed, “Mom, can you tell Yvette it’s my turn to win! I tried to tell her it’s my turn but she won’t listen and keeps beating me!”

I explained to Page that winning doesn’t work like that; there are no ‘turns’ in winning, like with their race. It’s a competition and whoever wins, wins. Page sat down on the stairs to listen. I went on to talk about how we are all good at different things, and everyone has their own unique set of skills. What Page was seeing was that running fast was a skill Yvette had, and that Page would have other skills. I described how if they were playing a game Page was especially good at then she would win. Page seemed intrigued by this information; she was making great eye contact with me, nodding, and listening intently without interrupting, so I went on. I talked about how playing together is the fun part, it isn’t all about winning. And it isn’t a big deal to lose sometimes because you know there are things you would win at so you don’t need to be upset about it, plus you are having a good time hanging out with your friend regardless of who wins. I pointed out to Page some of the things she is ‘super-good’ at and would likely win in a competition. It was one of those parenting moments where you think, ‘wow, this is going great; I am explaining this important life lesson based on this simple example and my child is really understanding and learning.’ An ‘I-am-a-good-parent moment. So nice…

When I finished Page looked at me and said, “ So now can you go tell Yvette it’s my turn to win a race?”

Originally published at chapelboro.com on February 8, 2013