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AIBU to not let my DD (3) win every time?(72 Posts)
DD is 3.5 and very into games, snakes and ladders, turn taking games and races.
Since lockdown I’ve been with her every waking minute and playing a variety of different games all day long.
I let her win id say about 98% of the time and sometimes she wins anyway through luck or skill.
When she loses, she goes bat shit crazy, screaming her head off, getting angry etc. I don’t know if I should be throwing in the the odd ‘her losing’ moment to teach her about the real world. Or whether to always let her win every time.
When she loses and goes mad, I sit with her and calmly explain that everyone’s loses and I understand that it feels disappointing/ frustrating and offer her cuddles and when she’s calm I encourage her to high five or say well done to the winner which she has managed a few times bless her.
Maybe it’s just the kind of lesson she’ll naturally learn at ore school and I needn’t create artificial scenarios and just work on making her the most confident she can be?
I just worry that if I do this she will be one of those sore loser kids who can’t enjoy things unless she wins every time.
I know she’s very young but I am worried in both cases.
AIBU to win sometimes?
Yanbu it’s something they need to learn at some point and introducing it now is better than at school where the sheer number of other children could make it more intimidating
You should be winning a lot more than 2% of the time. She needs to learn to lose and by allowing her to win so much you're getting this reaction when she doesn't. Also, she's not learning anything from these games because she wins without trying to even be any good (obviously some are complete luck but soon she'll start games that require some level of strategy and she'll need to actually try).
You need to allow her to win less often - closer to 50/50.
Also, by comforting her, cuddling her and supporting her when she throws a tantrum about losing, you're giving her positive attention when that praise and attention should be on the winner. If she throws a tantrum when she loses then you should calmly explain that everyone loses sometimes, that it's the only way to get better and that if she's not able to cope with losing then she shouldn't play any more. Then allow her to decide whether she wants to have a tantrum or play the game.
Definitely good to help them learn how to lose!!! I find with my dd that she can cope with losing a short game much better than one she's invested more time in - she's 5 so starting to play some longer games. All hell still breaks loose if she loses one of them!
It can help to model gracious losing and talk them through that. I am now at the point where I can ask dd before a game what she will do if she loses and she knows that the right answer is to say "never mind, well done Mummy" rather than throw the game on the floor!
You could play co-operative games with her instead. I think that's a better life lesson than teaching them to accept people lose in life. They wouldn't (in a meaningful way) in an equal society.
she needs to learn how to be on the losing side sometimes, do you throw a tantrum when YOU lose the game op ?
We can't even go for a walk with our 3 year old without her screaming if she isn't 'in the lead' so I am going to follow this thread closely.
I tended to let them win about 60% of the time, actively demonstrate how to behave when you lose & if they had a tantrum - would refuse to play until they learnt how to “play nicely”.
I'd make it more frequent that she loses tbh if it's so infrequent then it has more weight, she needs to get used to losing.
It’s hard isn’t it because I don’t want to do something that I know will distress her I also don’t want her to think Oh why bother with games, I’m no good at them anyway.
With all this lock down business I have to knock her edges off the way a group of peers would naturally and it just feels a bit unkind but equally I want her to be resilient and basically a nice person.
Thanks again I’ll go for more 50:50
Let her lose. My DD also 3.5 gets upset when she realises she isn't going to win. We talk about it and she's getting better. I usually stop on a round where she has won so we finish on a high and emphasize how much I enjoyed playing with her.
Perhaps try cooperative games? We have my first orchard which is quite nice.
I was a terrible loser but maybe because my family are terrible winners. I hate the trash talk etc so I try to model being a good sport. Maybe hold back when you get to more skill based games as I remember my grandmother absolutely trouncing me at Scrabble. I never wanted to play with her as it was such a shellacking!
I let mine lose much more than that. If they have a strip I won't play.
I had a cousin who had spent a lot of time with his grandad who let him win all the time. At age 10 he could not cope with loosing at all and would have a proper tantrum if he didn't win, with the result that no one wanted to play with him
Life's full of disappointment, learning to lose, dust yourself off and carry on is a vital life skill.
You need to win more, I wish I had when DS1 was younger. He was horrendous when he first started going to birthday parties! He does have ASD thrown in as well which made it worse but he had no idea how to lose gracefully.
Might you make it into a joke if you lose? Lots of exaggerated Wah wah wah I’m so sad I lost boo hoo stuff? It might make her laugh and you having a fake tantrum might enable her to make her own tantrums more silly and less heartfelt. Other times you can model calm losing - but still exaggerate the reaction. If you’re too calm about it she may not be noticing your behaviour as she’s so pleased to win. And when we you know you’re going to win you could narrate the game - i might catch you, oh you got away but theres still a snake you might go down and then I might win etc etc. So she’s preparing to lose or see you win etc.
I remember reading about this lady and thinking what a clever thing her Dad did for her. To turn failure into way to learn which in itself is a success.
As awful as those 3 year old temper tantrums are, they're so much worse when they're 12 and still having them because they've never lost or 'failed'.
DS14 has some lovely friends, one of them is such a good kid but he's never been allowed to lose or fail and he cannot deal with it at all. He's 14 and when they go paint balling or do team games for birthdays etc he just doesn't cope. We've known him for years and he's genuinely not a bad kid in any way; his parents openly admit they've never won a game against him since he was tiny because they never wanted to make him sad. Now they have a man-sized teen who can't cope with losing and that's a big weight to carry on teen shoulders.
I don’t think I’ve ever let my children win games where it’s chance - only things like races do I let them win otherwise they’d always loose - but I still win half the time on purpose. I wonder what that says about me?!
I have 3 year old twins and so someone has to lose (or not come first) every time. They sometimes get upset but mostly just accept it. We always keep playing until everyone finishes too at the moment and so they quite like hearing DD1 was first, mummy was second etc.
I think it's been good for them to learn to lose
Let her lose and don't rush to comfort her, that way she will learn that the world won't end and the bad feelings pass. Nothing wrong with being competitive but all children have to learn to tolerate unpleasant feelings; if they don't there are many negative ways of avoiding them in the big bad world when they reach adulthood.
“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” - Jon Sinclair
When she returns to the company of her peers, do you think they will let her win all the time? Better to be let down gently by Mummy, and learn that winning is not her divine right. Of course you can be a bit indulgent, but a reputation as a sore loser will do her no good.
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