SOL 1/26/16: Defining Yourself

My 16 year-old daughter had a competition on Sunday for winter guard. What is winter guard, you ask?! I asked the same thing! It is a combination of dance, flags, rifles, and sabers. You’ve probably seen the flags with marching band. Winter guard, however, is different and a new world to us!

When we arrived at the competition, I was totally floored! Hundreds of spectators, competitors and amazing performances! This being our first competition, we were a bit overwhelmed! In a good way, however! Chelsea’s eyes glowed with admiration and longing as we watched different groups perform. She loves to perform and loved watching all those other performances.

Then, her small group of 5 performed. It was beautiful, she smiled the entire time and did a fantastic job. This being her very first competition in this “guard world,” she had very high hopes. Those were quickly dashed when she learned the scores.

How can I help her see that her performance really didn’t need to be scored to be beautiful and perfect? How can I help her see that the score isn’t everything, especially when it’s your first attempt? How can I help her see this is just the first step in a long journey?

How do I help her learn that the score, or any score, doesn’t define her?

9 thoughts on “SOL 1/26/16: Defining Yourself

  1. Just tonight I was talking with my 19 year old who is away at college. She told me the story of a friend (who had easily experienced success socially and in dance throughout high school) who is having a very difficult time adjusting to college life. My daughter who had experienced many struggles and successes throughout high school said, “I am glad things weren’t so easy for me in high school, it was worth it to learn to be strong. ” I never thought this day would come and in those nights of struggle I certainly did t think it would ever come! Hang in their learning hard and well taught lessons!

  2. Welcome to Slice of Life! I LOVE your last line-“How do I help her learn that the score, or any score, doesn’t define her?” I think the more solid our self-concept is, the more sure we are of the gifts we have, the more willing we are to accept that a score is one minute judgment that might not even be an accurate description! For me, I have been able to more easily let go of negative judgments and evaluations when I am more solid in my knowledge of what I am doing and why I am doing it. I know I’m turning this to teaching (always seem to do that) but I think the more we accept ourselves, the more we can accept that others judgements and scores are just one person’s ideas. To thine own self be true. Doing your best is all we can do.

  3. This is such a hard lesson for her to have to learn? (And a stinky one, I might add.) So much of our lives we’re being judged and scored. It’s just awful.

    My kiddo is only five so I haven’t gone through what you are yet. That said, just be there and listen, which I’m sure you’re already doing. Her words will guide you to find the best way to support her.

  4. It’s a balance, isn’t it? Caring about what others think but also ignoring what others think? Doing things for the joy of it–because you love it, that matters so much. Getting a good score is the icing on the cake.

  5. Ahhh…that is a tough lesson and one that will be repeated through out life. I don’t know if this will help, but I would tell her she needs to focus on the journey and not the destination. As long as she is learning and improving, she is moving forward. I hope that helps. 🙂

  6. This is a tough one. First time competing…high hopes….dashed by scores. All you can do is just be there for her and remind her that we are the ones that say if we are successful, not others.

  7. Aw, sorry about the scores! Hey, the experience was worth it, right? Participating and having fun — that’s what really matters!

  8. First, welcome to our slicing community! This is always a tough spot for us as parents, right? Our kids want to participate for the joy of it all, but there is also the competitive aspect. And, not everyone wins. I imagine that you will find a way to cheer her on and keep her focused on her joy, and give her the perspective that her coach or teammates may not be able to do.

  9. Oh man. This is tough. Going from the line about her eyes glowing with admiration to her feeling deflated literally gave me goosebumps. That’s tough.

    I have a feeling, though, that you knew exactly what to say and that she’s had a lifetime of lessons about what it means to be successful. )

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