To the editor:
Few things are sadder than the lost, tearful look in a child's eyes when they fail to make a school team or activity they tried out for. They had their heart set on making it and worked through nervousness and fears for tryouts. To ask if I'm good enough, and to be told no, you're not, hurts. You're not as good as some of your friends and other classmates.
Sure, some people say the rejection helps prepare you for life experiences. Well, there are enough rejections and failures as you go through life - more than enough. Let them get through junior high school before telling them they're not good enough. You want to join and sing, sure we want you to sing. You may sing a little off key, but no one will hear as the group will cover you; just sing your heart out, smile, learn and enjoy.
Comforting the child isn't easy and your heart breaks for them. It was hard as a parent and it doesn't get any easier as a grandparent. Saying "I'm proud of you for trying" just doesn't heal the pain. "I'm proud of you for making it" puts a joyous smile and a look of pride on their face. Come on, coaches, instructors, teachers, put a smile on their face and give them confidence to keep trying.