Is it in the genes? Is it just something a child develops on their own? Is is how a child is raised? Is it the friends and outside family around them? I think the deep desire to win can come from any place really. Sometimes it is instilled, and sometimes it’s just a fluke of nature. A child’s inborn personality.
I understand liking to win. Desiring to win to a point. I understand liking to get prizes, or receive prestige for one’s actions, or just ‘by chance’. I get that. It feels nice to win sometimes. After all, I was a child to. It wasn’t THAT long ago, that I can’t remember.
I didn’t ever win much in the way of prizes out of ‘luck’. I had a friend who was really lucky like that, still is. She should play lotto. She’d have that 200 million by now. But what I don’t remember, is ever being what they call a ‘sore loser.’
Even at a very young age, when I lost, I lost with dignity. Everybody is different.. yes, but some children are just worse with this then others.
My husband isn’t competitive either, and never places any emphasis on winning. He’s not a sports fan, which I LOVE, has never really done anything competitive in his life, as far as sports and such, and has a very laid back attitude about it, which is good. Some men actually express to their kids that winning is best, and even important. I guess their could be some moms out there like that to, like those crazy pageant moms, but don’t get me started on that topic of conversation.
I mean I competed in Gymnastics and stuff as a child, and won a lot and sometimes I didn’t. I never cried or freaked out over it, if I did not win, but I just had zero luck at winning raffles, and prizes, the lottery, those games at the damn carnival where you spend $200 to get an $.80 toy. You know what I mean. I honestly accept my bad luck. I almost embrace it as being part of who I am. How sad. HA HA.
It’s not in MY DNA, and hub certainly doesn’t seem like it was ever in his, so where did it come from? My other children have been gracious in losing. My son plays several sports and is damn good , I must say, but he doesn’t freak out, when his team loses. So what did we do then? Why is our 5 year old such a sore loser? Did we really do anything wrong at all?
You play Chutes and Ladders with her, and she will scream and cry if you make her go down the slide. The darn game isn’t even over yet! Isn’t that what the game is all about anyways? Fighting your way to the top, and honestly, or else it’s over in 5 minutes. Where is the fun in that? ‘Oh..I’m not gonna win now’, she will say, before it’s through.
My husband always say to me ‘just let her win’, cause she throws a fit, but quite frankly, I don’t think that is always the best thing to do, AT ALL. He lets her win, but lately, I have won at certain games and told her, ‘Be happy for mom. Sometimes you will win, and sometimes I will win. You don’t see me huffing and puffing when you win, do you? Be happy for me, like I am happy for you.’ She still huffs. She’s quite young though, but golly, this one is new to me.
If she has a race running with other kids, and doesn’t go as fast as them and win, she will get all upset. She sees someone doing something, and if she tries and fails, she bugs out. I’m like, ‘That girl has done that 100 times, you just tried this one time, you can’t magically perfect something, without hard work and practice!’ It’s like she just can’t compete AT ALL. I don’t want her in that position, because it makes me feel badly, and she just doesn’t react well.
I have had other children, I don’t raise sore losers. I have always taught my children that having fun is most important. While winning can feel nice sometimes, it is NOT always going to happen, and you need to be happy for whomever wins, and know one day you will win, and some days, you just won’t. No matter what we do, this one child just is so competitive, and has such a drive to win, I worry for her long term, with this. Hopefully, it will be outgrown.
I’m glad she no longer takes gymnastics because if she ever competed, I don’t think she could handle it. She takes dance which is totally non-competitive and just fun, which is why I like that sport. No winners, no losers…PERFECT! She is a terrific little actress. I grew up desperately wanting to be one myself, but I never got the backing from my family, so a dream left unfulfilled, and I would do the opposite for her, because I strive to be the opposite of what i had, and to be supportive, in all my kids’ life dreams.
This was nice. When small, they all receive the same winner’s plaque. Not for long though.
Problem is, she’s not the child I think that could handle all the rejection out there in that field, plus I look at people like Lindsay Lohan and how Miley Cyrus is slowly turning, and wonder, ‘Is that what I want for her’, even though of course that doesn’t mean she’d turn into anything like them…you know what I mean. I’m a parent, I think too much. Some cutesy commercials and such, would be of no harm I think, but if she didn’t win the part, UGH..I don’t thinks she’d handle it well at all.
She is quite the actress though.
She takes ‘acting’ once a week after school to build confidence, poise, and they play around with a camera, and do fake commercials. It’s insanely cute, however, in the real world you get turned away from acting jobs like 99% of the time. Could a child who huffs and puffs at losing a family game, one you often end up letting win because it’s just not worth the ‘sas’, truly go for something like becoming an actress? I wouldn’t be able to handle that myself. (With her I mean.)
In part I see why my parents discouraged me on such things now, in hindsight. I was angry at them for not letting me go to gymnastics 4 days a week and really become a professional at it. Send me to go train with a big coach and possibly become an Olympic star, like my idols on TV. I was bitter at the time, but now I think to myself…’What kind of life would that have been for me?’ All about the win, and no real childhood at all?
I realize now, I would not want my child to turn out to be a professional dancer, skater, gymnast, ball player, athlete, etc., because as cool as it all seems, long term it is all about fighting for a win, and nothing lasts forever, and when it’s over by your time ending, or through God forbid an injury,…then what? Where does it leave him or her? With not much else. Sports and hobbies should be for fun, but that is just my opinion. I am all for encouraging kids to use their talents, but there are some fine lines there.
See yesterday, this is a funny story to. We were at Mikayla’s dance school party. It was adorable. No babies, no anybody. It was all about her. She loved it, and we enjoyed watching her enjoy herself. She sulks a lot at home with the babies, and some of our attention diverted away from her.
The kids danced and got face painting done, and tattoos. It was such a pleasure to watch Mikayla letting her hair down and bogeying. The music was amazing. She had a blast! We had a blast just viewing.
At the end though, I realized there was going to be a problem. They had all these adorable children in a big room, and a box filled with tiny pieces of paper in it. ‘Oh no,’ I thought to myself.
I knew we put her name on a piece of paper, but didn’t realize they were going to do the raffle now, and honestly wished I could grab her and high tale it on out of there. But the children sat attentively. There was no escape. 100 children in the room I would say, and maybe close to that many more who had left early.
I knew she was very likely not going to hear her name called, and my heart was already on edge and breaking for her, knowing how she is, and just, I just feel bad really for anybody who doesn’t win something in that situation, because all children are winners. I’m just not for this kind of stuff at this age, where they don’t yet ‘get it’, if you know what I mean. They look around like ‘Why not me?’ Again, maybe I just think too much, but it’d be nice to se everyone get SOMETHING.
I watched her face as winners were called for t-shirts. Oh how nice it would be, she always wanted one of those from her studio. Sweatshirt…nope she wasn’t the winner of one of those either. The tension now mounting, as I watched her smiling face turn to frowns time and again. A recital goodie bag… her eyes lit up, but with every name called and not hers, she put a pus on, that could cut through glass. Just an evil stare, like ‘What about me?’ It was hard for a mom to watch.
I thought to myself, if you do this with children, give a little something to everybody. I know that’s a lot of kids, but ones especially like her, it’s hard to hear these names and not be called. Some kids don’t care, but some like her are ultra sensitive. I felt like I had to buy her something afterwards to soften the blow. I know.
Free recital outfit for next year….no dice. Free registration…. I’m thinking big deal on that one. And as they prepared for the close, and I prepared to have a long talk about winning and losing with her after the party, for the umpteenth time. Very ironically, out of all of these children, they read the grand prize winner, for a free year of dance lessons, which is like $600 or more. It was the big one, and it wasMikayla.
Totally unexpected. Good for a mom who soon will have two more tuitions to pay!
(If the twins want to dance, of course. They do seem to like to bop to music, but here she is folks..My little lady.)
She was is so happy.
She had it so set in her mind she was done with, she looked a bit shell shocked. I’ll have to put a video up later, because Lord knows I taped the whole thing. (Got it up now.) But my goodness, it was almost surreal that out of all these children her name was called period, but for the one grand prize?
Now, I’ll buy her that tee shirt she wanted. Kids don’t really get what ‘free’ is, because they aren’t the ones paying anyhow, so it doesn’t really affect them. They want something more tangible, or at least something they can understand as being a reward when they are young, so I’m taking her out for lunch, and I’ll buy her that t-shirt. Maybe get to see a movie while hubby is off this week.
It saved us a nice sum of money for next year, so that is the least I can do to make her happy, but it was luck. ALL luck! It was a fluke and she made out. It doesn’t always work that way though. You can’t always win, and you won’t. It was nice and really unexpected and fun, but it’s not going to happen all the time in life. I told her that as she stated how much she was looking forward to next year’s hurrah.
She walked around all day yesterday like the Queen of the Nile, and held that piece of paper that said she had won the year of lessons all day long. She even made me put it in a frame for her. She was happy, so I did it. But what can you really do if you have got a child or even a tween or teen, who is overly competitive in life, and can’t lose gracefully? When they are young still, it’s harder for them to understand, but here are a few things to try and instill, and we have been working on all of these ourselves, listed below.
Handling the little sore loser in your home
1) Teach your child how to handle disappointment.
Let them know that they can’t always win, but they won’t always lose. They have many years left in their lives, and will experience both sides of the coin. They can feel disappointment, but they shouldn’t feel angry. They should feel happy for the person that wins, because next time, the person will feel happy for them when they do. A nice talk will help, but sometimes they have to experience failure and defeat to better be able to handle it, and learn how to cope through life experience. (It’s called learning the hard way.)
2) If your child gets angry and needs an outlet, don’t scold or punish.
Pouting a little, and tearing up is one thing, but if a child starts screaming and acting out in a violent way when they lose, it’s a tough thing to deal with. As long as they aren’t hurting anybody, you really shouldn’t punish them for this behavior. They aren’t adults though sometimes we may forget that they are not thinking like us. Not even close, depending on their age. They are children who need to learn their own mistakes and find their own way sometimes. We all had to, to become who we are today. Let them have their outlet to be angry and grieve a loss. It’s healthy.
They are just children. You didn’t do anything wrong, sometimes this just happens, so don’t feel guilty, if you have a sore loser on your hands. Remember emotions are not bad. Expressing them is actually a really good thing. Comfort them, all the while, while keeping the same argument… Nobody wins all of the time.
3) Share your own childhood stories & experiences.
I do this often with many things my kids go through. I remember a lot about my youth, so at every turn, when something pops up that I can relate with, I use it to my benefit, their benefit, as it helps my kids to not feel alone, different, strange,, etc. It helps to be able to relate. My mom never did this, I assumed her life had to have been perfect, but it’s nice to know, your parent (as a child’s point of view..is also a human being, like they are.) This method of sharing usually helps a lot, but sometimes it doesn’t stick the first time. You may find yourself repeating yourself again and again, but as long as it works, it’s worth it.
4) Recognize the anger and let them deal with it.
If you see the anger brewing in your child, encourage them to go and blow off some steam. Let them go do something that de-stresses them. Kick a ball around. Release the stress in a more positive way, but deal with it. No repressing. Use the energy for good, in an active way. Then when they are back to themselves have a talk with them. It’s not as good to talk with an angry child about why they are angry. Get them when they are in their right minds again, so to speak.
5) Reward good behavior and praise efforts.
Win or lose your child is yours and will always be a winner in your eyes, but they may not always feel this way. When they try for something and fail, which happens to us all, praise their efforts. As long as they tried their best and gave something their all, it is just as good as winning, and deserves your admiration and praise. You can even take them out for ice cream, or a movie. Something you can do together, is far better then a toy, or something tangible, and likely your child will appreciate that even more.
Don’t reward the act of winning per se. I was just so relieved that they called my daughter’s name and I didn’t have to hear ‘My name wasn’t called’ for the next 3 months, that I guess I was rewarding her winning, but then again, it isn’t anything tangible for her, and it saves me and dad money. Besides, it’s simply us time, I would have longed for anyhow. I need to work at this one a little bit more.
Just make sure if you do reward a win, it comes along with a pep talk about how you won this time, but you can’t always win, and won’t always win, but you did a terrific job. Even if you lost I still would have done this for you, because you are always winner to me. You are awesome.
6) Watch what your children see, and how you or your husband act around a sore loser child.
Not in my case here, but sometimes sore losers are formed from a competitive parent, who actually does believe that winning is important, if not everything, and sometimes teaches this directly to the child, which is a shame, or implies it, but making the child feel sub par when losing, and like a shining star when winning.
If you are a mother and dad is this way, perhaps he’s big into sports, or just has this kind of win-win personality, which some men do, make sure to have a heart to heart with your husband. You guys need to raise children as a team. You can’t do it all on your own, and what they see, and what’s around them, will affect them.
Let him know for the sake of their fragile egos, to not act a certain way, say certain things, in front of their kids. That it is potentially very harmful and can effect life long self esteem, which is hard enough to build up in this day and age. They can feel how they want, but don’t let it fall onto the child’s shoulders. It can be very damaging, and not always intentional.
7) Tell them about God’s love for us all.
Finally, remember, and I use this often. There is no one person better then the other. We are all created in God’s image, we are all equal, and loved by the Lord no matter who we are, where we come from, where we are going, or where we’ve been. We are perfect, amazing, and very, very special. Make your child realize this and how important that they are, win or lose, they are loved and always winners in your eyes, and in the Lords.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure one day I’ll look back and laugh, but right now, it’ something that needs to be dealt with, and is a topic so many parents can relate to. Don’t take it as a personal blow. I believe many times, it is not the parent’s fault at all, and just the personality of the child.
Just be patient, repeat yourself when your child forgets. Never let them feel like winning is the most important thing, and comfort them if and when they need it. It really isn’t if you win or lose, but how you play the game.
I appreciate your reading.
‘You may lose sometimes, but you’ll never be a loser. You might not win, but you will always be a winner to us.’ – Mama Possible