In recent years there is an increasing emphasis on being #1. Everywhere we look, whether it’s on the television or in the magazines or in the newspapers, the only thing that defines if we are successful is if we finished # 1. There seems to be no middle ground. We have to finish first or be sent to that area where only the losers go. You know where that is. It’s that area where we walk around with our heads held down because we finished # 2.

As positive parents, we have to be very careful of the example we set for our kids. Are we more interested in them just becoming #1 or are we interested in the quality of their life? I hope that all of us are highlighting the latter.

I personally feel that there is no embarrassment to being #2. What it means to me is that the group or person worked very hard to get to that high position. There may be one issue that has kept them from getting to that first spot.  Finishing #2 does not mean failure.

Next week everyone will be watching the Super Bowl. This is the championship game for the National Football League. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots. Each team’s fans will hope that their team wins.

There are some fans who are very obsessed with their teams. When you visit them they have everything from tee shirts to coffee mugs with their team’s logo on them. Some have gone as far as to have the outside of their homes and their cars painted in the colors of their favorite team.

As a Cleveland Browns fan (I know, I know. I’ve talked this over with my therapist), there was nothing more disturbing than seeing a Pittsburgh Steelers fan flaunting the colors black and gold. During that time (1970’s) it was a great disappointment not to see my team win.  I have carried this thought for a while, but I’m much better now.  Somehow I got side tracked. Where was I? (LOL)

There are some fans who think that if their team doesn’t win it all and finishes second, the whole season was a waste. I disagree. I feel that finishing second should be applauded.

In every instance each team had to beat many teams that had them become the champions of their divisions which earned them the right to get to the big game. In each team’s stadium there will be a banner hanging that will read “This team is the NFC or AFC champion”.


Let’s look at another thing that makes finishing #2 not so bad.  The prize money that each member of winning team from last year, 2011, received was $83,000. The members of the losing team got $42,000 each. This money doesn’t include their salaries or any other bonuses they may have as a part of their contracts.

My other favorite sport is basketball. Last year the finals included the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas won a best of seven games series by beating Miami 4-2.

Some thought that Miami’s season was a failure because they finished #2. I disagree. It took a lot of character for a team with a lot of new players to put themselves in a position to compete at the end. The calculations for the breakdown of the prize money in the NBA is a little more complicated than with the NFL, but it is still a lot of money.

I would guess that most fans do not make this kind of money for the whole year and it shows that we have to keep in perspective what the value of what being #1 is. We cannot be so obsessed that we give our kids the wrong message. In each of those examples we have to see that these are just games and although it’s fun to root for a team, whether they win or lose will not affect the world as a whole.

We must teach our kids that they must work hard to reach their goals. There is no substitution for hard work. We all want our kids to be the best they can be. If they fall a little short of the mark, they should be proud to say “I’m #2. I’m #2”.



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