#sol17: Mario Kart Lessons

Saturday, March 18, 2017

     I hear joyful shrieks paired with angry yells as my children and their friend play video games downstairs.  The moment changes from celebration of a digital victory to a volcano of defeat, spewing its disappointment all over my family room.  Who knew Mario Kart could be such an emotional rollercoaster?

     Growth mindset is a hard thing to have when your neighbor is better than you at video games.

     It makes me think about all the things that I am willing to do in front of other people, and the things I refuse to have an audience for.  I have no problem teaching lessons or giving PD to staff, but I will never parallel park to get there.  I mean, what if someone is watching out the window and sees me fail?  Worse yet, sees me fail while damaging some unsuspecting car?  That fear of failure with an audience can make us fail before we even start.

     My family room once again returned to a more stable climate.  Polite conversation and teamwork have returned, and their shouts are more comedic in nature.  I feel proud, like my son may have learned it's ok to lose sometimes.

     And then I realize that our neighbor is intentionally letting my son win.

     I guess some lessons are not going to be learned today, but I now realize just how much empathy my neighbor has.  Here's to losing and growing another day, during yet another Mario Kart race.

(I did, however, tell my son that the next time he cries over coming in 2nd place, I'll just turn off the game.  Maybe I'm just too used to being in 12th, but that's just crazy. 2nd place tears get no empathy here.)


  1. I'm with you about parallel parking. No one needs to watch me do that.
    This is an awesome post! Tell your kiddo 2nd place in Mario Kart is something to SURELY be proud of! :)

  2. When we got a car with a back-up camera, it made parallel parking so easy. How great that you are teaching your son to have a growth mindset!

  3. Tough lessons to learn. Especially hard with video games for some reason. I remember my kids going through that. But worth letting your kids work through those lessons! Love this Leah! :)

  4. I'd be the exact same way with parallel parking-too funny! I love how you captured empathy and growth mindset in relation to your daily life context. Fixed mindsets are something that we can continue to work on as we strive toward growth, yet it's ok to acknowledge we all have areas of fixed too. :)

  5. I did actually damage a car while attempting to parallel park once, so I am definitely with you on that one, haha! I like the way you related Mario Kart to growth mindset. :-) ~JudyK

  6. No sympathy around here for that kind of thing either. I would acknowledge that he has figured out what works for different audiences and how just because something works doesn't make it a good choice. Smart kiddo!