How can we not post about the Olympics? The games are the epitome of hard work, confidence in oneself, honesty, and my favorite, gratitude. I can't help it, but I love when the athletes win and then say, "Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!" It's makes my heart sing. :)
Even though the athletes worked hard for years, most of the time it was their parents who were supporting them during the good and the bad times. Don't get me wrong--the athletes are there because they exemplify the best of the best, the cream of the crop!
BUT...if a good support system weren't in place for them throughout their lives - be it parents, guardians, wives/husbands, and/or coaches - those kids (especially the kids), wouldn't be competing at that level. They wouldn't have all those positive feelings in them to remember when a mistake is made (remember Bode Miller's wife's face when he finished his run? Ugh.) They wouldn't know how to bounce back from "failure" if they hadn't learned to be self-confident individuals.
We don't need to tell our kids when they've made a mistake - they know. What's more is that we should focus our attention on questions like these:
"What could you have done differently to possibly have a more positive outcome?"
"Do you feel like you gave 'it' all your effort?"
"What will you do different next time?"
"I love you, no matter what" followed by a big hug.
These are good reminders for all, and they apply to more than just sports. Classwork, quizzes, tests, trying something new, even household chore "mistakes" happen and the above questions can help parents build that support system.
Be a confidence-builder, not a confidence-breaker.