With November 4th around the corner, you might think this is about elections. It’s not.
This is about when our children do not make the team, get a part in the show, or earn first chair in the orchestra. What do we do? The biggest disservice we pay them is crying “Politics!”
There may be times when the reason could be a poor coaching choice or a director’s bad decision, but as someone who has sat in the director’s seat, there are often many other invisible factors besides politics. If we train our children to look for reasons beyond their own performance, we are not training them to improve.
Crying politics says to our children:
1. Those in leadership cannot be trusted.
2. God is not in control of the situation, a misguided coach or director is.
3. Your skills are far superior and you should move on in your sport/theatre/music situation and others should not.
4. The only lesson to be learned is that someone else is wrong.
5. It is appropriate for them to evaluate and comment on their peers’ performances and their assessment is more accurate than those making the decisions.
I can remember the time my daughter longed to make the all-star softball team. The night she found out she did not make the team, I wiped the tears from her eyes. However, that opened the door for a marvelous summer on swim team. I told her, “Rarely do we see such obvious answers to prayer.” There are times that not making the team or the group is an indication that more work is needed or that our little musician or athlete should reconsider their dreams of a professional career.
After an audition or tryout, it’s appropriate to ask questions with the goal of learning how to improve for the future. And if a director or coach is misguided or “political,” we still do not want to highlight that fact and cause our children to cast blame instead of being inspired to grow. If they are truly the most talented candidates, they will have other opportunities, and the setback will be a temporary challenge that helps them grow.