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Winning and Losing

(11 Posts)
Scout19075 Tue 01-Oct-13 10:52:48

How do you help your only accept winning and losing?

SmallBoy, who will be four at the end of the month, seems to have picked up the concept of winning and just wobbles (sometimes dramatically) at "not being the winner first." It's usually at racing me from one lamp post to the next (a favorite game of mine to hurry him along the path when we're out) but has started when we play board games.

Last time we played games he one the first game then I won the second time we played and when he threw an almighty strop. I told him that sometimes we come in first and sometimes we don't and when he continued to wobble I told him I wouldn't play the game with him again while he was continuing to tell me he was the winner, not me, that he wanted to win. When he calmed down I talked to him again about winning/losing.

Today I happened to win the first game and he started again. I tried to explain again that we don't always come in first and it's okay to not always win. He wasn't having it, decided he didn't want to play that game and wanted to play another one "by myself so I can be the winner first."

He loves playing board games and I really enjoy playing them with him but I need some strategies to help him realize he's not always going to win/be first and it's okay.


Donki Tue 01-Oct-13 19:38:55

I can't remember how old SB is? The YD went through a phase of not being able to tolerate losing very well - but getting upset if he won because he didn't want the other person to feel the way he did when he lost. (Regardless of the fact that when it was me or DH, we really didn't mind!)

I don't think that there is any short cut - we just kept playing games, trying to make sure that he didn't lose so often that he gave up. Gradually we reduced the frequency with which we "let" him win, and now he is fine (so long as he doesn't think he has no chance). It took a couple of years though.

Donki Tue 01-Oct-13 19:40:13

(I think that it took longer because of the YDs social difficulties)

Scout19075 Wed 02-Oct-13 18:02:40

<<Hands Donki a bucket of top grade carrots and strokes her ears>>

SB will be four during half-term (end of the month).

I won't stop playing games and I won't throw the games to let him win all of the time though he does genuinely win half the time (or more) because the games are all chance -- luck of the dice (Chutes & Ladders) or of the draw of cards (CandyLand). Surprisingly (or not?) when we played Memory we didn't have the same problem.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who's DD is the same age (just a few weeks younger) and she said with her two when they say "winner/winning" it's more of a "I've finished!" than the pecking order in which they finished. I started thinking about it and wondered if that's what SB was talking about when he says "I'm the winner first" -- that he completed said activity before me but that we've both completed it (such as getting to the lamppost along the path). If we get to the post first he says "We're the winner together!"

I guess it's one of those things I just need to ride out.

Donki Wed 02-Oct-13 20:07:59

<<Gets blissful expression on face, and wriggles withers in a manner solicitous of a good withers scratch>>

Thanks Scout, the carrots are delicious! Did you grow them yourself?

How is Mellors these days - and Lord and Lady Grey?

beanandspud Wed 02-Oct-13 23:12:12

Scout, we had a very similar situation with Small Bean and tbh he still doesn't like losing.

He has got a lot better though in the last 12 months, maybe it is just maturity, although he is fiercely competitive. We play a lot of simple card games on holiday and before we start we talk about winning/losing/being a good sport and it is slowly sinking in.

No easy answers, I would recommend a book about 'have you filled my bucket' - I'll post the link but it's been really good for Small Bean to explain how his behaviour makes others feel sad - and a simple analogy/language.

beanandspud Wed 02-Oct-13 23:15:12

Here is the fill a bucket link.

beanandspud Wed 02-Oct-13 23:16:02

<<waves at Donki>>

bubalou Thu 24-Oct-13 22:36:45

Hi op. I have had similar issues with ds recently so am unable to offer advice but wanted to reassure you that you are not alone.

Perfect example today - Ds is 5 and has football club after school. Today it was the last session and they have about 50 kids across 3 year groups. Today only 4 of the kids got medals - which is fair enough. This did not go down well.

When he got home he was crying and sulked and screamed a bit for a full hour!


Aeroaddict Sat 30-Nov-13 16:15:21

DS is now 6, and was a lot like that, hated losing, and would have a massive strop every time he lost. It did worry me, but school seems to have knocked it out of him. He came 3rd in a race at his first sports day last year, and was over the moon, whereas a year before he would have seen that as being beaten.

I would just keep beating him some of the time when you play games with him, and ignore the resulting strop. He will grow out of it. His friends won't put up with him stropping every time he is beaten. I think in the long run being competitive is a positive thing, they just need to learn to accept defeat as well.

VelvetStrider Sat 30-Nov-13 16:29:44

I find the rhyme 'First the worst, second the best, third the royal dogs mess' often helps diffuse the situation with young children struggling with the concept of losing.

It distracts them with humour, makes them think that maybe it's not so important to win all the time, and it's about poo which all small children find hilarious!!

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