What do you do when you child hates to lose? Winning and losing is an enevitable part of the party life and party games can be really hard for a child who hates to lose. They can be hard for adults who hate to lose – although drinking games, of course, can have much worse consequences.
From what I can remember I wasn’t great at losing. I wasn’t an outward crier much more of an internal “I must beat them next time no matter what” kind of child. My earliest memories are in fact of when I did not win in sport. I have always been extremely competetive and for this reason winning and losing have been paramount in my life (I played every sport I could). I may seem quite hard during parties when a child comes up to me crying because they haven’t won. Usually I open with “You will be okay” because this is the most important thing children have to learn. That they will be okay if they lose. So why are winning and losing such important skills to teach children? And how can you combat the upset if your child does lose?
The Importance of Winning
Everyone loves to win. Winning is a huge self-esteem boost for children and can develop a lot of their key attitudes, most prominantly a “I can do this” attitude. It gives them determination and motivation, they want to win and they want to suceed and this can carry through to life.
It also can build their strategic thinking and their ability to problem solve in order to win. (Just ask any strategic pass the parcel passer!). This means their thinking may become more lateral and creative. Winning gives a child pride in their actions and they want to repeat that feeling again this can begin to filter into other areas of their life too.
The Importance of losing
Children have to learn to lose. In life they will experience being unsuccessfull and teaching them from a young age to deal with these situations is extremely important. Losing, although hard, develops children’s empathy skills and emotional skills.
It can also build determination, they want to win next time and how can they achieve it? How can they work hard to meet that goal or win that game? If they want to win in a game but don’t, that is okay as they can try really hard next time, this is an important skill. It teaches children to deal with negative experience, that losing isn’t something to be feared but that it is part of life. Processing negative experiences can be difficult for adults so instilling these first emotional experiences into children can be of great benefit as they grow up.
What can I do if my child hates to lose?
Teach them how to! Play games at home and don’t let them win. Help them to process losing and have them look at what they could do next time in order to succeed. If they lose in a party and begin to cry, take them aside and speak to them about the importance of losing and how if they win everytime it will mean other children won’t get to be happy because they have won.
Show them how peers are dealing with losing in a game, that they are okay and “you can’t win everytime” attitude. Children will be okay when they lose, maybe not immidiately but I like to hope in the parties we encourage positivity out of losing, that there will always be a second, third, fourth chance to win. Something I think we all need to remember in life, never give up one day you will win that bag of Haribo!
For further reading on the importance of winning and losing follow this link: