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How do you teach children to cope with losing?

(7 Posts)
allhailtheaubergine Tue 20-Sep-11 15:50:11

5yo beats 3yo at everything they do.

3yo is utterly inconsolable every time. Furious sobbing rages.

They make everything in to a competition. I have limited these eg "no racing up the stairs to bed" and "no more races today" sort of thing.

It is getting very, very wearing.

5yo is sometimes kind and lets him win, but this isn;t really the answer.

How do I get him to understand that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and it's okay and we can try again? Any attempt to broach the subject incurs another screaming tantrum.

carocaro Tue 20-Sep-11 16:45:57

The thing is he's 3, he's just not gonna get that he can't win all the time, 5yo is lovely to let him win now and then, you just have to show him, heap praise on 5yo when he wins and ignore 3yo tantrum and then let 3yo win and heap praise on 3 yo, he will soon get the message. And at this age letting him win, or thinking he's has won is no big deal, it keeps the peace and your sanity, it won't stay with him for life!

Have 2 DS, 4 and 9, they used to be like this, but now DS 4.5 totally gets that he can't win all the time and DS9 backs off a lot and lets him think he's won eg: footy and connect 4 that sort of thing, to keep the peace! When ds2 was the same as yours he would be livid with rage and crying if his older brother scored a goal, the whole neighbourhood heard about it!

I too have banned races up and down stairs, first out the house, first in the car - all that banned, too exhausting, if they start I say "do I look like I have any medals to hand out?"

peggotty Tue 20-Sep-11 16:49:44

I have a 3 year old like this- I think it's a common trait in 3 year olds tbh. His big sister (6) can't be bothered with his tantrums and just let's him win most things, which I'm sure is not teaching him the right things hmm. However I do think this type of thing is just a learning curve and he'll grow out of it, although he may always be competitive.

peggotty Tue 20-Sep-11 16:50:43

Meant to add, it's improving now that he's nearing 4 - it was at it's peak between 3 and 3.5.

mathanxiety Tue 20-Sep-11 18:40:16

What you need to do is get to the bottom of why your 5 year old needs to prove to everyone he is the best/fastest, etc. 'They make everything into a competition' -- does this mean the 3 yo initiates this or the 5 yo?

Your 3 year old is perfectly normal in his response to losing.

Your 5 year old needs more play with children his own age.

ragged Tue 20-Sep-11 18:41:38

competitive sport, the more DS does the less bothered he is about losing...because he gets lots of practice at losing, esp. in a team environment so everyone has to take it on the chin.

Playing lots of competitive card games at home has helped, too.

Tewkespeggy Wed 21-Sep-11 17:21:44

i tought my dd that she has to be happy when others win so that they will be happy when she wins.

otherwise by the time he is winning in his own right he'll never get the full enjoyment out of it since he will know that the opposition is fuming at losing.

try a quiz with questions heavily wieghted to each child so that the 5 yr old cant monopolise

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