What you need to know:
- We told her that because she planned and worked hard towards getting the position, she succeeded. Had she done the same planning and put in the effort needed to win for the sports day, it is likely she would have won a medal.
Our younger daughter’s school had their sports day over the weekend. To be honest I was not looking forward to it as I should have. The fact that we had to be awake early on a Saturday morning (we had to drop the children at school by 6.30am) was very unexciting. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy myself as much and was worried I would get bored when the not-so-interesting races took place. I also dreaded her asking her dad and I for money throughout the day to buy this snack or that toy. I managed to deal with the third issue by letting her know she would get a specific amount of money and had to budget for it. For the other two, not much was in my control.
I am happy to note that the day turned out well! While I had known all along that our girl is competitive, this was proved even further on the day. She competed in four races, including cross country (a short distance but enough to tire them out); caterpillar riot (hilarious and fun race); big shoe race (one that really needs coordination) and the 4*100 relay race. Her class won the caterpillar riot race, but the other classes in their house didn’t, so there was no medal for her. She was very disappointed. I could tell she had joined the race to win a medal or two.
“Mummy, Papa, how come my friends won and I did not? I should have won at least two medals. Those should have been mine!” she said, very disappointed as we drove back home. And so we started the conversation and lessons on what it takes to win. Sometimes it is luck. Other times it is adrenaline. But most of the time it is planning and preparation. We reminded her of the time she wanted so badly, to become a class prefect. Right from the first day of school, a month and more to the voting time, she started working to ensure she went through.
She let everyone including her family, her class teacher and her friends know, and asked for support. She started acting like a prefect by doing their duties; she would help the teacher collect class books, manage the class and go out to get whatever he needed from other classes or the staff-room. Almost every night, she prayed about it. As the day grew closer, she did everything right and on time. She prepared her nominations correctly (others made many mistakes), and was present for all briefings for candidates on time. She eventually became the class prefect.
We told her that because she planned and worked hard towards getting the position, she succeeded. Had she done the same planning and put in the effort needed to win for the sports day, it is likely she would have won a medal.
What I forgot to remind her about, was the time I asked her how she was prepared to handle the challenges that would come if she became prefect.
“Mummy, I will be fine. I do not think I will get any of those challenges,” she told me. I insisted that if she got the position, some of her friends might be jealous. Others would not be happy when the time to report them to the class teacher came around. She would also end up missing some fun events because she would have to be elsewhere doing prefect work, plus, she would have to be a good role model, all the time. She thought I was predicting doom and said we should not worry about those things.
Not one week had passed after she had been chosen, when two of the challenges came to pass. That week, our evening chats were laced with many questions and tears. Months down the road, she is now better at dealing with the various challenges. The lesson, she has learned, is that planning and preparation works, regardless of the win or success you are looking for.
I believe the next time there is a sports day, she will be better prepared.