Handling Loss Like Miss Universe 2015 Runner-Up

There’s no doubt that life presents plenty of opportunities to address overcoming obstacles when it comes to winning and not winning. Take the recent Miss Universe 2015 debacle, for example. Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arévalo, was announced as the winner, only to find out moments later that Steve Harvey, the host, made a terrible mistake in the announcement. She was actually the first runner-up, and had to give the crown to Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Imagine the internal conflict and turmoil Miss Colombia was experiencing in those moments, but she handled herself and the situation with the utmost grace and poise.


How can we teach our children to handle situations similarly in their own lives? Carrie Jensen, mother of nine Wisconsin Virtual Academy students, has some advice. Recently, four of her children entered K12‘s 2015 Art Contest. Two emerged as winners and two did not.

jensen“When one member wins, we all win,” Carrie says. “I remember getting the email about Lucia placing, and announcing that ‘we have a winner!’ Moments later I received an email about Julia placing, and did the same. As the minutes passed, I saw disappointment start to settle with my other two contestants, but always applaud their effort, not outcome.”

It’s true that we all have our own talents, and Carrie constantly reminds her students to “do their best and find joy in the process.”

Carrie also disclosed another secret that she says is a real key to her family’s success—having private moments with both the winners and the participants. “It’s important to acknowledge that things are hard, but that they will grasp it eventually.”

“Real growth lies when we’re being stretched and we keep trying.”

The fact is, no one can win all the time and sometimes it’s those losses that build grit and lead to future success. To embed these lessons, the Jensen’s got a cake and celebrated as a family. A delicious victory for everyone!

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