What a great game last night. My daughters (4 years old) watched the entire game. We couldn’t get them away from the game, and that’s a long time to sit for football. Even though Seattle lost Super Bowl 49, the Seahawks did give us fuel to address a few parenting issues.
1. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you handle your mistakes
Whether or not the pass to Ricardo Lockette was a mistake – this is only determined by Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson if you ask them the question “Whether they’d make the same play or whether they’d change it” If Butler hadn’t intercepted the ball – we’d be celebrating another Seahawks Super Bowl win. However that is not the case and the media and Seattle is reeling in “the biggest mistake ever” talk. I have always said to my previous students (Elementary and Secondary) and continue to say to my children that mistakes are a way of learning. We all have to make mistakes in order to learn. To quote Pete Carroll via LA Times he said “A very, very hard lesson, I hate to learn the hard way, but there’s no other way to look at it right now.” For our kids we can teach them, even superstars, celebrities, Presidents and especially adults make mistakes. It’s how we deal with them that is important. Immediately after the game, Pete Carroll told his players he was to blame. It was his mistake and he after all was Head Coach. Russell Wilson stood up and took the blame – stating it was him that threw the ball. This in my opinion helps children learn that if you make a mistake, own up to it and yes the backlash can be difficult but your honesty and integrity is more important.
Our girls don’t watch TV. Sure they watch Amazon Prime, Xbox Videos, play IPad games etc. but they don’t see commercials. So what do we do when we watch live football as a family and the commercials come on? We use it as a learning experience.
For example – the Budweiser advertisements (I’m so happy they didn’t have half naked women on them this year since that would be a deeper explanation than I could get through in 2 minutes). First, we explain what a commercial is? It’s a company’s way of trying to get us to buy their product. So we ask them “What is the Budweiser commercial trying to sell us?” They say beer. We ask “Do we need it or want it”. They say “No…Because you drink this beer”. When the car commercials come on – again we ask them “What are they trying to make us buy?” They will say a car. We say “Do we need it?” They say “No, we already have one”. When something scary comes on we do ask them to turn away and we do mute the sound. The reason is the girls get too scared and end up having nightmares.
3. The fight – Bruce Irvin
Yes the fists flying at the end is not something one wants to see on the field. But a great teaching moment – we told the girls even adults have trouble controlling their emotions (we have a 4 year old having trouble controlling her anger) but fighting is not the answer. We also illustrated that this was poor sportsmanship and asked what should he have done? The answers were “He should have walked away, gone to his room.” We also suggested – pounded the ground, screamed, gone to the locker room but not hit another person. Irvin did apologize today – closing the loop of what us parents with more than one child say when our kids fight – I’m sorry for hitting you.
We can’t always win. At some point one has to teach children that sometimes we lose. Yes it’s awful but you need to lose in order to grow as a person. If a child never gets a toy taken away, or loses a debate, a game in school, or loses points on a test – how will that child develop into an adult and survive in the world. We have to feel the loss, learn from the mistakes, learn why we lost and get up and try again. We want our children not to give up on the challenges that they will face throughout their lifetime.
These are some lessons we have been teaching/reinforcing in the last 24 hours. I would like to personally thank the Seattle Seahawks for playing with their hearts, servicing the community – especially Seattle Children’s Hospital and standing together as a great team. Learn from your games this year gentlemen and continue to strive for better next year.