05 Nov
You Win Some, You Lose Some (even when you’re six)

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My first grade kid is in the midst of class elections. His teacher is really doing it up: primaries, debates, interviews, three tickets of kids on different platforms. Some parents, all of whom tend to be a bit more serious than my own mouthy self, have suggested that this is too much stress for the kids. They think it’s too devastating to lose and that the teacher should turn this into making up referenda for the school instead. I think the way the teacher has set up the process is a lot of work but a great learning opportunity. I also think she has done a great job preparing the kids for possibly losing. My kid says that everyone in class looks forward to Social Studies because they are all so into the elections. I want to write back the other parents and say, “Settle down,” but I fear being the lone dissenter to the dissent.

Signed,

Electoral Coddle-ge

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Dear Electoral Coddle-ge,

It took me a while to be able to respond, because I was having too much fun imagining a debate between three 1st graders. You know, the kid who runs on sugary snacks, extra recess and longer nap-times is totally pandering.

Anyway. About these other parents. I am with you sister. These kids are going through this exercise during one of the most contentious presidential races in history. If the point is to teach them how it all works, their election should mirror the actual process as closely as possible. Demand to see birth certificates! Who paid less taxes on their allowance! Which kid believes in choice time, and which one only believes in choice time when the life of the teacher is at stake?! Huh? Oh. Hmmm. Sorry. Got  a little carried away there.

Yes, I am sure the kids that lose in this election will be upset. What’s so wrong with that?  The sooner the parents help their kids manage that, and teach them that there’s always the next election, or the next game, the better off they will be. As far as you speaking up and letting your opinion be known, I think with the right approach, you could come across as the voice of reason. Point out what a positive experience it will be for the kids, and perhaps give examples of actual politicians who lost their first elections and then went on to win later.

May the best kid win!

Karen, TMH

6 Responses to “You Win Some, You Lose Some (even when you’re six)”

11.05.12#1

Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

Sort of silly of those parents, considering that their kids are already probably playing in organized sports, right? Probably some political reasons behind the objections, methinks…

11.05.12#2

Comment by Megan.

How does someone who’s never lost learn anything anyway?

11.05.12#3

Comment by MommyTime.

Ugh. I cannot stand the every-child-who-plays-is-a-winner mentality. Actually, some teams win and others lose. While I think it’s absolutely right to focus on the process at this age (whether we’re talking about learning a sport, or learning about elections), to pretend that “everyone wins” is just silly. When kids learn that isn’t true — and, moreover, that sometimes really good people lose, and sometimes people don’t even play fair — they are getting important lessons. I’d rather have them learn this in an age-appropriate way in 1st grade, when the stakes aren’t high, than much later when it comes as a rude awakening.

tl;dr? I’m with you on this one, sister!

11.05.12#4

Comment by rojopaul.

In third grade, I voted for Ford. Carter won — in the class elections and in the “real” election. Am I bitter? Of course not. I still think it was a great idea for my teacher to introduce us to the fact that we live in a country where we have a say in things and get us thinking beyond our classroom. It can also be a great lesson in how to be a poor sport or a good winner, etc. First graders probably don’t care as much, but why not at least introduce it to them? Chances are they are hearing political talk at home anyway and they can tell mom and dad they got to vote too!

01.01.13#5

Comment by Nilukshi.

I don\’t think it\’s Camille. She may have some air about her, however, I think she has budnoaries with it. She also can afford virtually anything she set her eyes on and seems level headed. This screams Kim, Kyle, Taylor, or Dana. I\’m thinking it\’s Dana or Kyle. For some reason, Kyle strikes me as the type that would tease, I\’m not giving this back!\’ to a retailer and mean it with a winky face.

06.04.13#6

Comment by Does a Bad Teacher Deserve a Gift? | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] never hated one of my kids’ teachers but I have hated lots of other things. Like trying on bras in some snotty department store. Eating […]

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