Sports were EVERYTHING to me when I was growing up. Bobby Orr and the Big, Bad Bruins. Yaz, Fred Lynn and Louie Tiant on the Red Sox. Dave Cowens, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale on the Celtics. Steve Grogan and Randy Vataha for the Patriots. I knew all the stats, the schedules, where the players grew up and their birthdays.
Unfortunately, since sports is about winning and losing, there is a lot of disappointment! I was CRUSHED when the Red Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1975 World Series AND to the Mets in 1986.
I also remember rejoicing when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, watching with my wife and daughters as the Sox ended their 86 year World Series drought with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
So......if.....and hopefully this isn't the case....... the Patriots lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII (52) Sunday night in Minneapolis, what should you tell your disappointed kids?
I reached out to our great listener, Brian Cohen, LICSW, and a child and family therapist from Hudson, MA, and here is his sage advice:
"How do we console our kids when their favorite team loses?"
First and foremost it is important to know that our kids feed off us. How we handle the defeat will either help or exacerbate how they handle the defeat. Tell them it is ok to be sad, its a natural thing. Be gracious in defeat and talk about the parts of the game that were so incredible and helped us to hope for a win. Tell them that their players are still great and, just like their favorite players, THEY are still great and tell them how much fun it was watching the game with them and hoping for a win and how they made the game so much more fun to watch.
Remind kids that games are entertainment and the fun is in the hoping. We hope that they win, we hope they get the first down on third and three and, if they don't, we hope that the defense stops the opposing team after the punt and we will get the ball back. All games are about hope and the great thing is we all get to hope together again next season.
What about the actual players? They are the ones who actually lost. What will they do? They will go home to their families. They will go on vacation. They will take care of what needs to be fixed at home and they will love their wives and husbands and children. They will move on from the loss and get over it. Why? Because that is what professional players do. They understand that no one wins every game, that it is impossible, and they know there is always next year. They know that their fans will still love them and support them, and come spring training they will all be out there working hard and hoping together to win THIS time. That THIS will be the year they go all the way and win. And we will hope with them, all over again.