Here at Grow Your Mindset, we know how difficult it can be helping your child cope with losing a game.
It’s a fine balance teaching our children the difference between being confident enough to participate in competitive activities and having the grace to accept it’s okay to not win every time they take part.
And if you have noticed your child shows signs of being a sore loser when taking part in games or when playing with their friends this can be a painful experience for everybody involved, not least of all you!
Experiencing a child whip themselves up into a frenzy because they didn’t win can have a lasting impact of negativity.
Moreover, it can severely dent their confidence and create toxic friendships, which can be especially damaging to their wellbeing and to that of their friends.
So, you will be relieved to know it doesn’t have to be this way.
It is possible to help your child cope with losing a game and prevent the temper outbursts that can go with it, meaning your child becomes better prepared for all of life’s ups and downs, and you get to keep your own sanity intact!
We think learning to cope when you don’t always come out on top is a fundamental part of transitioning through the different stages of childhood, so we’ve put together our Top 7 ways to help your child cope with losing a game.
How to Allow a Child to Cope with Losing
Ignore the tantrums!
Whilst it’s tempting to give into your child when they start their stroppy behaviour, it’s really important that you don’t. All you will do is validate their bad behaviour and make it acceptable for them to turn on the tears or throw their toys around every time things don’t go their way!
Be patient, be calm, don’t engage, and they will soon become tired when they realise you are not responding.
Once their extreme behaviour has subsided, this is the time to then give them your attention.
Give them some space and time to process it in their own way.
Everybody processes situations at different rates, and this is no different in children. If your child doesn’t want to engage for a while after the game, that’s okay, they will come round in their own time. Allow them the space to process what has happened and to think things through. Once they are ready to engage again you can move on to the next part of the process which is
What to say when your child loses a game
Praise Your Child
If you praise your child for participating even if they don’t do so well, this will reinforce the message that it’s not the end of the world if you lose the game.
Paying attention to the things they did well, even if they didn’t win, will have a positive effect on their mental fragility, turning a bad situation in to a more upbeat outcome.
This way, your child will learn that you think they are fantastic for their individual skills and abilities rather than for beating somebody into second place all the time.
Encouraging them to talk to you about how they feel.
It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed because you lost, but it’s important to keep anger under control, and a child needs the support from his or her parents to be able to understand the difference.
Let them speak openly about their feelings and emotions and offer an empathetic ear and a caring tone, rather than being overly judgemental that will simply build negativity inside their minds.
Be Objective not subjective.
Focus on the positive aspects of the whole situation and reinforce what went well throughout the duration of the game. Encourage your child to have respect for other people that may be participating by offering praise for everybody involved, particularly if it’s a team game.
By saying things such as ‘you all worked really hard, I could see the effort you made!’ is making this a focus point, rather than actually the final results.
What Your Child will Learn from Losing
Teaching your child resilience
If your child grows up to think they must win at all costs they will not develop any kind of personal resilience for difficult situations they will face during adolescence and into adulthood.
Win or lose, you want your child to grow up as a well-rounded individual, who has confidence in their own skills and abilities and knows that success comes from positive engagement in any task they undertake.
Furthermore, as we mark the International Day of Families later this month, teaching your child to cope when they lose a game reinforces the unconditional love and support you have for them as a family.
And this is an important value to learn during childhood and beyond, into the time when they have children of their own.
Our 7th suggestion on how you can help your child cope when they lose a game is to contact us here or call 07803 909838 to speak to one of our qualified mindset professionals.
We are a friendly bunch, and we have a wealth of experience of working with children in a variety of settings. We would love to chat to you about your child’s development and look at ways in which we can help your child be the best they can be.
So that win or lose your child has confidence and knows they are doing well.
At whatever it is they want to do.