Monday, March 7, 2011

Helping Kids Handle Losing

When I was 6, I played soccer. Our team was called 'The Hornets,' only we were nothing like any hornets I've ever experienced. We didn't swarm the ball, we certainly didn't swarm the other team's goal, and I'm fairly confident that no opposing team felt our 'sting' all season. Sigh. 

Our fearless leader, Coach Sherry, reminded us to hustle over orange slices and gatorade on the sidelines. She was ever upbeat and encouraging. I remember one game in particular- I was running with the ball at my feet, no one in sight! I was heading straight for the goal and no one could stop me- not even the goalie, who, oddly, was nowhere to be seen...Then I heard my team calling my name. It was half time. Darn. How embarrassing. 

The Hornets did not win one game that season and honestly, I'm not sure we scored a goal (that counted). But we had a grand ol' time with Coach Sherry, our teammates, and our orange slices and gatorade. 

Every kid will face losing at some point, whether on the field or on a test or at an audition. It's a tough situation and, of course, your heart breaks as a parent when you see your child at the losing end. Here are some tips to help your child learn from the experience and move forward with a positive attitude:

  • Don't compare. Ever. Comparing your child to other children takes the emphasis off of camaraderie and fun. Even more than that, comparisons set your child up for failure in the future. Don't do it. 
  • Take the emphasis off of winning all together. Have you ever asked yourself: Why does it have to be about winning in the first place? Even when your child is on the winning end, try concentrating on aspects of activities like teamwork, diligence, and self discipline. 
  • Help your child set realistic goals for the future. Realistic goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. A realistic goal would be to practice the ballet recital dance 15 minutes three times per week. And UNrealistic goal would be to move from level 1 ballet class to level 5 by the end of the year.

How do you help your child handle losing?


Post a Comment

Copyright 2009 Parenting | Singleparent Blog. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemesfree