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You Goofed? Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Certainly we all want our children to excel. But it takes most kids years to find their strengths; if they don't try everything that comes their way --from kickball to spelling bees-- how will they discover their passions?

One thing that parents can model is to value 'effort' and 'risk'. Kids whose parents praise things like 'trying,' 'giving their best effort' and 'finishing what they've started' seem to have kids who try, give their best effort and finish things! While competition is a great teacher, there are also times that it is as important to reward participation as achievement.

Rewarding the courage to compete builds confidence and helps to combat the stigma attached to losing. People often forget that losing is nature's best teacher. High achieving adults we've interviewed confirmed that adversity and struggle (e.g. 'losing') taught them what they needed to do to win the next time!

Kids shouldn't be afraid of losing. Hug and praise them no matter how well or poorly they do. Go easy on the sympathy if they lose. Soft-pedal the congratulations if they win. In either case, ask them what they learned or what they'll try next time.

Remember, your offsprings' 'won/loss' record is not a reflection of your parenting skill? but their attitudes, values and ethics are. Whether they win or lose you can teach them to show the same respect for everyone who competes, to push themselves toward improvement and give to their best.

As with so many aspects of being a parent, it's all in how you approach it.

Andrea Patten is the co-author of What Kids Need to Succeed: Four Foundations of Adult Achievement which is now available on Amazon.com

For more information about 'The Four Foundations' please visit http://www.whatkidsneedtosucceed.com

"...becau se you're not raising a child - you're raising a future adult"

In The News:

An Australian zoo has successfully doubled the population of a critically endangered bird by swapping in a feather duster for an absentee father who abandoned his chicks just before hatching. 
Archaeologists have made a grisly discovery in Mexico City that could lead to the first-ever Aztec royal tomb, according to Reuters.
That's one gigantic dinosaur. 
Earth just got another dazzling glamour shot, thanks to a satellite that snapped its photo on the March 20 spring equinox.
A series of letters from Albert Einstein will be auctioned later this week, with the messages touching on a number of topics, including his thoughts on Jewish people’s rights to defend themselves, the rise of anti-Semitism at the time and "Hitler-insanity." 
Legislators in Hawaii and New Jersey are considering the toughest statewide plastic and Styrofoam bans in the country, in moves that could usher in a wave of anti-plastic legislation.
Astronomers peered into the dusky bulge of the Milky Way and found some of the oldest known stars in the universe.
It's not something you expect to see. 
Astronomers have clocked a pulsar careening through space at a mind-boggling 2.5 million mph (4 million km/h).
A Japanese weather satellite has provided visual evidence of the historic asteroid that exploded in the atmosphere over the Bering Sea in December that packed a punch of 10 atomic bombs used by the  U.S. in Hiroshima, a report said

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