Parents these days are so competitive. That includes me. We’ve been bombarded by the media with “winning is everything” slogans. We want our kids to win every spelling bee, singing contest and basketball game. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to win. We want our kids to always be motivated to win. But let’s not overlook the importance of our children’s attitude towards winning and towards their opponents.  They can have a mantle full of trophies but if they have lost the friends they’ve competed with because of their nasty attitude, then what is it really good for? Relationships are more important than trophies.

Below is a story that Janina’s Grade 5 Adviser shared with Paolo and me:

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Janina with her friends, Betthia, Sofia, Cleyanne and Aya

“Go Cleyanne!” Janina’s voice was heard across the room as her friend stepped in front. It was the elimination round for the Linggo ng Wika singing contest, where Janina was also one of the contestants. “You can do it!” she cheered again, a huge grin plastered on her face. Cleyanne sang the Ryan Cayabyab classic, Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika. Toward the end of her song, she committed a mistake and slumped back to her seat.

“You did great!” Janina whispered to her as she reached her seat.

“I was horrible!” Cleyanne replied. She covered her face with her hands and bowed her head low. Janina went over and patted her friend on the shoulder.

What really stood out during the competition was how great Janina was as a friend. Though she was also a contestant herself, she didn’t become consumed with her own performance; instead, she chose to show her all out support for her friend, giving her comfort and encouragement. She is a great performer, but I believe that she’s even a greater friend.

Janina won that singing competition. But I am even happier that she won the hearts of the people around her.

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