How many times do we see children who get angry if they don't play what they want? And kids who have real tantrums after losing a game? Surely many times we witness these situations ... Do you have an example at home of this? We tend to say that they are children with 'bad loss', children who do not tolerate frustration well, are very competitive, and who get angry when things do not go their way, in this case winning in a game.
It is something quite common, and in fact it is something that must be taught to children. We must try to teach children to lose, which is nothing other than getting them to learn from a young age to manage and handle emotions and favor the development of skills to face difficult or frustrating situations for them.
Children who do not know how to lose are generally small who they get angry when they don't have the expected success, they have exaggerated reactions (they cry or have temper tantrums, for example), they quit the game ('well, I don't play anymore!' is the typical phrase they usually say), they blame others for their 'failure' (others cheat for them to lose), and sometimes they can outright avoid the game just in case they lose.
We usually identify the child who does not know how to lose with the competitive, egocentric child, who always wants to be the best, but this is not always the case. Children with low self-esteem, who tend to think that they are 'bad' in some games, or that everything goes wrong, are also going to have a difficult time facing defeat.
That's why it's important teach the little ones to manage and accept frustration and the emotions that arise when they lose. They have to learn not to blame themselves but not others. We must teach them that winning and losing are two sides of the same coin, this way, if I play, I can win or lose.
Children need to learn to lose and as parents or teachers we must be the ones to guide them. Below we have collected some tips.
1. Let the child get frustrated from time to time
The first thing is to let the children have experiences that are not entirely pleasant, that is, not to give them everything they ask for, nor to avoid frustrating situations. If you never face 'no', how will you know how to handle it when it appears? This applies to all areas of a child's life, not just play.
2. Put limits on the tantrum of the loser
Make it clear to the child that it is normal to feel a little bad, sad or angry when losing, but you cannot give free rein to anger. If the child's reaction is excessive and, for example, he has a tantrum, he will be temporarily withdrawn from the game, for example.
3. Teach by example
Parents often don't lead by example. In the park we are all good words, 'the important thing is to participate', 'nothing happens if we lose', 'we have to have fun', and many words full of good intentions. But what happens when my soccer team loses? The same is no longer so important to participate and it only matters to win, right?
4. In the same way that we teach how to lose, we must teach how to win
We cannot allow that when the child wins, he celebrates it with mockery towards the loser. Knowing how to lose is as important as winning with sportsmanship. For this reason, if the child who wins makes fun, it is necessary to correct that behavior (just as if the child who loses has a tantrum).
5. Educate in values
Companionship, teamwork, fair play, and respect for others are essential for children to know how to play and enjoy the game.
6. Rejoice when you win, but also when you lose
Yes, rejoice when you lose. That is, not giving importance to the result if not to how well he has played.
It is important to show children that it is important to learn from defeat to improve. If I analyze why I have lost, I can improve in the future. They must also learn from defeat to get to know each other better, and to know what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Sometimes it happens that we lose because we play something that we are not particularly good at (not all of us are great basketball players or we are machines with video games or great strategists), so learning how we are will help us improve and improve ourselves also to know our abilities.
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