Defeat is a natural part of our lives, but the ability to accept it is not inherent in a child. Those children who are professionally engaged in sports from an early age are well aware of it.
Learning to lose politely and correctly is an art that can be perfected. The sooner you teach your child to do this, the better for him or her. The ability to win and lose with dignity is an important social skill useful to a child in any area of life.
Give the child a possibility to lose
When you, for example, play board games with your child, show them a worthy example of sportsmanship. Congratulate them and shake hands with them when they win, and do not show off too much when you win.
Everyone wants to be a winner
Most parents want their children to be successful and win. This is perfectly normal. It is abnormal when victory becomes the only thing that matters, and defeat is seen as weakness. However, losing is a very important experience; it is a lesson to learn from.
What to do when a child loses
When your child has experienced failure or defeat, do not try to get near them as quickly as possible to support them, respond to all their emotions and overcome them instead of the child – children are much more attentive and ready for constructive feedback, if it is given by someone other than a parent.
Always assure the child that he or she is loved regardless of the outcome of the game or competition, etc. Many children directly link their achievements to their feelings and their parents’ attitudes to them, believing that these achievements define the strength of their love. Therefore, your child should know that you love them no matter what they are doing, that your love is unconditional.
If you your child loses, he or she may be angry, cry, scream, in other words, express their feelings, and this is extremely important. Some parents tell their children that they do not need to cry, that only small and weak ones cry, and that the defeated have to hold back in silence. But if the child is not able to give vent to emotions, stress and anxiety will only accumulate.
If a child experiences regular failures
Sometime after the defeat, talk to your child about what happened, to see if they think they could do something in a different way or are sorry about something (for example, about what they did, that he played at all). Participation is more important than victory, so encourage your child to think and discuss the lessons they learned from this experience.
Be open to your child and always talk to him or her about the struggle and competition. Tell the child about similar situations you were in as a child, that you were upset, what you felt when you lost, and how you did not lose the desire to play and compete, that you still liked to play anyway.
If the child continues to fail, perhaps this means that he or she is not yet ready for any activity or is bored. They may not have sufficient personal motives, incentives, or the activity is not satisfying enough. It is also possible that the preparation and training are inadequate, ineffective.
Encourage your child for action, activity, desire to learn and improve their chances of winning – it is not necessary to buy or give something for this. It is important to say what kind of things the child obtains, what exactly he or she is doing well. And no matter how many times the child loses, he or she should know that there is always hope. Kids especially need to remember it.