Friday, January 5, 2007

Want Conservative minded Kids? Then Beat Them.

The year was 1976.

Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter admitted in a Playboy Magazine interview that he’d looked at a lot of women with lust in his heart.

Renee Richards was barred from competing in the US Open because she was a he.

Liz Taylor had her sixth divorce, if you count Richard Burton twice.

It was not easy to raise a conservative red state kid back then either.

But that year was special. Tall ships filled New Your Harbor to celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday, the Viking probe landed on Mars. And I beat my dad in a sporting event for the first time.

My dad was a great collegiate athlete. He was fast. He was tall, 6 foot 5. He could jump. He had confidence. He was competitive. And he never ever let me win, no matter what the game or the sport was. He would always let me get close to victory so I would thirst for it. But he always won. It was frustrating. But it made me more determined to practice.

Then on a municipal tennis court, in the blue state of New Jersey, on a sunny but brisk and windy March day, with my red stripped tube socks pulled up to my knees and my big 70’s hair, I beat him. I beat my dad in a six set match of tennis in a tie-breaker set. It was the greatest feeling in the world. I remember it like it was 30 minutes ago not 30 years ago.

The point: Real achievement is what builds self esteem. Not telling Johnny how great he is at something he isn’t. Kids are smart. They know where they stand and you can’t fool them with fake praise.

Furthermore, overcoming failure builds character and fuels passion to work harder or think smarter. Or failure guides kids to other activities where they can have meaningful self-fulfilling achievement.

The liberal world where kids do not get grades in school or Little Leagues do not allow scoring in T-ball games because some pot smoking ex-hippie psychologist says it will hurt a kids self-esteem is counterproductive. We are molding a bunch of nambie-pambie kids who’ll have a tough time coping in the real cruel world once their mommies and daddies are not around to protect them.

So I say, beat your children. Beat them until they can confidently beat you.

According to the Universtiy of Texas these are the things that lead to healthy Self Esteem for kids
  • being praised

  • being listened to

  • being spoken to respectfully

  • getting attention and hugs

  • experiencing success in sports or school

  • having trustworthy friends

1 comment:

Conservative Dad's Dad said...

Conservative Dad,

I used to let you win in close matches more often than I won, until you were old enough to call me on letting you win.

Ya got mad and said, "Dad, you let me win!" and huffed off. From then on I had to play it pretty staight.

By the way, I remember that day you beat yer ol' Da in a close tough match very fondly. There was only one guy happier than you that day and that was your proud Dad.

On the other hand, I knew that it was going to be a battle for the family championship from that day forward!! And it was! And it was great!