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What do you do if your toddler hates losing?!

(9 Posts)
Gobbledigook Mon 23-May-05 15:19:43

Just been playing snakes and ladders with ds1 (4) - he was loving it until I won then had an almighty paddy! Had to try hard not to laugh!

Anyway, we played again and he was doing OK till he had to go down a snake - then all hell broke lose again!

What would you do - carry on by normal rules trying to teach them you can't always win (what I did) or make the rules up so they just enjoy the game (what my friend says she does)?

Got to get back to kids but will pop back later to see responses!

Flum Mon 23-May-05 15:21:42

Never teach the skill of losing!!!

Play to win. and teach child to teach when playing against others to ensure always wins.

Flum Mon 23-May-05 15:22:29

teach ??? i meant CHEAT


or if you don't want a winning cheat.

teach child to be a loser instead.


the choice is yours

zubb Mon 23-May-05 15:24:14

Ds1 is 3 and is like this - hates losing whether it's a game, or just 'racing' ds2 to get pyjamas on. I just carry on as normal and explain to him that he can't always win and that other people like to win too, and that maybe he'll win the next time. Not sure it's going in though .

Caligula Mon 23-May-05 15:24:45

Stop playing.

Gobbledigook Mon 23-May-05 15:26:17

Caligula - oh yes, we did stop! Just wondered whether people fudged it to avoid tantrums or stuck to the rules because after all, they have to play by the rules in school!

OldieMum Mon 23-May-05 15:51:10

I assume Flum's contribution is a joke?

Learning how to lose gracefully is an important skill, in my book - a first step to learning how to compromise, to take other people's needs into account and, therefore, to live in a social world, rather than a jungle. So is learning to want to win and to try one's hardest to do so, of course. I also think that not teaching a child how to lose is hardly doing it a favour. Unless you think your child is going to succeed in everything they do, at all times and for the rest of life.

When to teach them all this is another matter, though. DD is only 2 and too young to cope with losing, IMO. I'd be interested to hear when other people think children are mature enough to learn to lose.

fruitful Mon 23-May-05 16:30:36

DD is just 3, and beginning to have to learn this one as she likes to play running races with her friends. She has already worked out some compromises for herself (you're the winner with brown hair and I'm the winner with blonde hair - this in a race with one friend!).

If I'm playing games with her I fudge the rules a bit so that she has a chance of winning about half the time.

No point letting her win all the time - I'd rather she learnt about losing gracefully with me than with other 3-year-olds, who aren't going to say positive things to her when she loses!

She has, however, spotted that I let her win. She plays pretend games with her (3mo) brother in which she lets him win. Obviously ds isn't actually participating much (just gazing adoringly at oh-so-clever big sis).

suedonim Mon 23-May-05 16:44:21

Ds1 has never learned to lose gracefully and he's now 30yo! He was always a sore loser, his birthday parties were a nightmare and he just doesn't seem to have that bit in his brain that should tell him "it's only a game". Thankfully, none of my other three have been quite like this, though I'm not aware I raised them any differently.

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