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Nearly 6 yr old ds doesn't like losing.. help

(18 Posts)
Nicol06 Sun 28-May-06 00:16:56

Ds is in first year of school and is a pleasure to be around most of the time. Tiredness has a huge effect on his mood though and I don't think this helped yesterday.

He doesn't like losing at games and sometimes he gets a bit upset if he isn't 'chosen' to do something at school. He has improved hugely in this area though. While he manages to keep his feelings in check most of the time, occasionally he still carries on when he loses. Yesterday I took him to a party and towards the end of a game, only him and one other child were left - meaning that one of them would win and the other one would come second. Ds lost to the other child and was given a sticker instead of the prize (which was only a small prize anyway). According to my BIL, he hung his head and pulled a face, and then screwed up his sticker and walked off. Obviously this is much better than throwing himself on the floor and screaming!!!! but I couldn't help wondering if he should be able to cope with this kind of thing a bit better by now, as most of the children at the party were younger than him and none of them got upset when they lost.

I have explained to him several times about winning and losing but it's taking a while to sink in. Is this an immaturity issue or a personality thing, or maybe something to do with our parenting..? I am not sure how common this is with boys his age, so would appreciate some thoughts. Thanks.

cod Sun 28-May-06 00:19:55

Message withdrawn

Chandra Sun 28-May-06 00:20:07

I really don't know as my son is just 3 yrs old and he still have some problems coping with it. We try to let him "loose" once for every two times he wins but... he is still a bit grumpy...

I'm not helping, am I?

cod Sun 28-May-06 00:20:19

Message withdrawn

Nightynight Sun 28-May-06 00:37:46

why do you want your children to like losing? just be happy - theyll be future captains of industry/leaders/sports stars
as he gets older, maybe just explain to him that it is sometimes tactful to PRETEND that you dont mind losing.
Ive ranted about this before on mn - just hate the english working/middle class attitude Oh, we must all be good losers - cos we're destined for a lifetime of slavery

ScummyMummy Sun 28-May-06 00:48:41

Both mine can sometimes be like this, one especially. My only tip is that I think it's important not to shy away from playing stuff so that they get plenty of practice at winning and losing well and seeing you model good losing and winning. God- how jolly hockey sticks does that sound!

Clary Sun 28-May-06 01:16:16

<<cod what are you doing up so late?>>

My DS1 is a bad loser. He's almost 7. Yesterday we were playing Monopoly with some friends and he kept pretending he had shaken a more propitious throw than he had (to avoid landing on DS2's ticket-boothed green square etc).
Neither of the other 2 do this. He is also inclined to get upset if told off. Like Cod and others I have no idea what to do about this.
(especially bad as DS1 is (ahem) not the greatest athlete and thus liable to lose on an increasing scale as he goes through school....)

hannahsaunt Sun 28-May-06 07:59:27

Ds1 is the worst loser I've ever encountered (I did think he was like me until my mum visited and was shocked, saying that I had never been like that - I would be cross if there had been unfairness (ie they helped my younger brother to win) but was fine if lost by normal means. Ds1 (5.5) is dreadful - shouts, throws the game, is just unpleasant. We don't "let" him win as a result - if he wins fair and square (all on the roll of the dice at the moment - snakes & ladders and that sort of thing with ELC die in a spinny thing) we do lots of praising, lots of good sport type behaviour and encourage him that this is what's expected when it's a game, for fun, for pleasure, for entertainment!!! Maybe he is a future captain of industry but he sure as heck won't be a happy one or have many friends if he carries on the way he does at the moment...Tips gratefully received here!

Nicol06 Sun 28-May-06 08:12:35

Notice that these are all BOYS we're talking about here. Doesn't seem to be much of a problem among girls, although that's just an assumption I suppose.

Can I ask whether your boys have a brother or brothers, & if so, whether the others are similiar (with losing) or whether it's just a personality thing? My ds is the only one I've got so can't compare him to anything really. I wonder if it's got anything to do with being a bit spoilt..? I'm just grasping at straws here, I'm not sure what it is about ds that makes him that way - maybe he's just still a bit immature. Hannahsaunt, we've tried the same tactics with ds, eg letting him lose and then praising him if he takes it gracefully.

Nightynight I know what you mean (lol at a lifetime of slavery), but I really think this reaction is something they have to get under control. It's great that they're competitive and everything but it doesn't look very good if they throw a fit every time they lose, does it?!

TwoToTango Sun 28-May-06 08:30:26

Nicol - sounded just like my ds you were describing! he is also only child although not quite 6. the competitivness seemed to start when he was about 5 - when he was younger he wasnt bothered about losing (perhaps because he didn't realise that he had!). I think it is a boy thing because quite a few of his friends are exactly the same.
He doesn't have a tantrum if his doesn't win he just gets upset and takes it to heart a bit.
It is improving - when he does any competitions at school or his rugby or swimming and he doesn;t win we really make a point of praising him for trying his best. Even when he is just at swimming or rugby or talking about school work I always tell him I am proud of him because he tried his best and that is all I want him to do.
I think it is down to them being boys/the age/personality. Its one phase I hope we get through quite quickly!
If is was because he was spoilt though and he was nasty to the other child who won I don't think I would be so patient about it.

Weatherwax Sun 28-May-06 09:32:22

No solution but just wanted to say its not just boys. I made a snakes and ladder game into a sort of team game, with everyone hoping for the right throw of the dice. now my 5 year old dd can cope with loseing and doesnt throw the board round the room and hit her sister. But it is a constant battle.

foxinsocks Sun 28-May-06 09:44:27

there are loads of threads on this hidden in the archives which probably shows you what a common problem it is

we have had some success with playing games at home (board games) and enrolling ds in football where they insist, win or lose, that all the boys shake hands at the end of each game and say 'well played'. He has got better at hiding his disappointment and I can often see him on the verge of crying but blinking the tears back trying not to be too upset!

I think what you have to try and focus on is that it is completely natural to feel unhappy and disappointed when he loses but what you want to try and encourage is good sportsmanship. So maybe you could tell him that he can express his feelings by saying that he is really disappointed to lose but encourage him to say well done to the winner (perhaps practise this at home!!).

I don't think it gets better with age, I just think they get better at hiding it!!

fattiemumma Sun 28-May-06 11:15:41

mine is almost 6 and is exactly the same. i dont know any pearls of wisdom to be honest, but will watch the thread with interest in case anyone else does.

my strategy is to just ignore it and when he throws a paddy about losing tell him to stop being such a baby. if he wins then someone else has to loose and how would he feel if they threw their stickers on the flor and started being silly.
then ignore him for a while till he cheers up.

i think its a bit to do with age. he has the competitiveness but not quite the maturity to deal with it.
i also thinks its partly our faults really. as young children we play games with them where they always win, then all of a sudden they have to play with other children who seem to use those strange things called rules....its not really on is it, why cant they play like mum and dad??

also think you have a good point nightynight....we dont want them to enjoy losing.

peasinapod Sun 28-May-06 11:47:49

Mine was like this it still happens occasionally but he is an only child so he dosnt have to share at home and I feel this is a problem .Any way I played loads of games with him Frustration ,Snakes and ladders you know the sort ,and I refused to let him win , Frustration is great because you can start off loosing and win right at the end . It taught him a good lesson it took time but it did pay off in the end . best of luck .

peasinapod Sun 28-May-06 11:49:05

Can you tell I didnt read the whole thread foxinsocks . LOL (board games )

Nicol06 Mon 29-May-06 00:45:19

Woulnd't you know it, ds has just gotten another invitation for a boy's party next weekend. Am feeling a bit apprehensive about it now, lest we have the same type of behaviour again...

thewomanwhothoughtshewasahat Mon 29-May-06 00:56:27

dd hates loosing. to the extent that she cheats or changes the rules half way though a game. if she does that I just tell her I'm not playing any more.

god that makes me sound like a 6 year old.

peasinapod Mon 29-May-06 10:01:57

I think if you act like another 6yr old its a true likeness as to how a freind would act and this is what they have to deal with and get over it . So get those board games out because its bl**dy raining again today.

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