My son was five at the time and we had just come back from his basketball game. Unfortunately my son’s team had lost. It happens. Well my son was very frustrated and upset. I was a bit concerned that he was not putting the loss into perspective so I asked him a question.
I said, “Eli, what’s the difference between winning, losing, and learning?”
“That’s easy Dad.” he said. “Winning is winning. Losing is losing. And learning is just another word for losing.”
Well I laughed. But he made a great point. He did not sugar coat what learning is and what it is not. Typically we learn the most when we have a difficult moment, when we struggle, and when we lose. As adults we see discomfort and pain as a negative and something to avoid, but this five year old saw it as something to embrace.
Eli went out and practiced the shots he had missed during the game because he wanted to become stronger from the experience. I wanted him to feel better. He wanted to be better.
There are moments with your children when they say something that makes you stop in you tracks. Sometimes they make you reflect and other times you may just say to yourself “Wow.” This was one of those times.