Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm The Winner!

Well, actually, I wasn't the winner tonight, but I was four nights ago.

That's when I was the first person seated at the supper table to say, "Thank you for supper Mommy!" The thanks from our three girls came right after.

Tonight, it was the two-year-old, who uttered her gratitude with her traditional "hmmmmm!" sound, which any properly formed Kautz knows means, "Thank you for supper Mommy!"

Yes, one of us is always the winner. And the other three are not the winner, or more specifically, losers.

That's such a nasty word today. Nobody is willing to teach their kids about competition and the joys of good sportsmanship.

When we first started the Thanking Race, inevitably the second and/or third place child would be upset; often even crying. So what kind of parents encourage behaviour that makes one kid happy and two kids cry?

Britain's Telegraph has a fascinating read concerning the way our culture is conditioning the next generation of investors. It refers to a report from Heads, Teacher, and Industry which states the current play-it-safe methodology is "potentially fatal to our economics and social wellbeing." This is fueled by "fear of litigation, excessive regulation, distorted media reporting, parental paranoia and a confused understanding of risk within the teaching profession only serve to reinforce risk averse attitudes." In short, if kids are raised to avoid all risk, they'll not have the nerve to drive the economics of the next generation.

That's why I'm not afraid to have losers at my dinner table.


  1. What's your reaction when the other two cry because they're not the winners?

  2. At first I would encourage them. "You can be the winner tomorrow if you remember to say thank you first."

    Nowadays, nobody cries anymore though. Once one rattles it off, they all join in with a chorus of "thankyouforsuppermommy!"

  3. Nice!!

    You know there are times when I sit down and due to fatigue and laziness I am not too eager to help out with some of the training of my children. Then I see examples of how a strong Catholic man can be such a huge factor in the life and upbringing of his child, it gives me that extra little bit of a push to do it! Too bad the laziness still wins sometimes!

    I also have seen the difference that I can make in the attitudes of my children! The way children respond to me when I get home from work can only be described as amazing. My wife can be struggling to no end trying to have the children do this or do that, and all it takes is me taking the time to talk to the children, and it gets done! This is one of the areas where I am looking to improve myself as a father(and as a husband). The help that I am able to give my wife with very little effort, should not be considered to be a really nice thing that I do for her, but more it should be considered as just the norm. Watching James interact with his girls, is an insperation to me as it would be to most men who would take the time to watch!

    I do not neccesarily take part in my children's activities in the same way as James, but I am striving each day to be a better father, which in turn ends up making things easier on my wife! That is what I think being a good husband is all about!

    I know this ended up just being a blog of my own that just started in one direction and took off randomly, but I never was accused of being too shy to say things as I see them!


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