It’s okay to lose
Do you always let your child win? Even if you think it’s the right thing to do, letting them win may give them a sense of false success. Your child would probably realize that very soon that you are trying to ‘be nice’, however, you will be surprised to see that your child wants the very challenge you are actually trying to avoid giving him.
This may feel strange, but letting your child win all the time actually prevents them from growing. It is important for a child to find out that sometimes they will succeed and sometimes they may not. Learning to lose is something that children can learn in the Early years and knowing how to accept both results is a valuable life lesson. We let our children win all the time for fear of hurting their self-esteem, we don’t wish for them to feel bad about something. But we should work with them to show them how they can improve and work on themselves in order to succeed and win.
When a child ‘learns to lose’ they gain the skills of overcoming barriers, dealing with conflict and problems and being prepared for the unexpected. They learn to rise and work harder to achieve what they are capable of rather than us making it easy and non-challenging for them. You definitely can give the child an advantage in any game you play as you both need to be on the same level, so competition is equal for your child. The difficulty level also needs to be age-appropriate to make it fair for your child to have the right opportunity to either win or lose.
Another great life skill one can teach children when they ‘learn to lose’ is to actually enjoy the process, the playing, the thrill they get during the entire session rather than just focussing on the outcome. Teach them to enjoy the experience and not so much the result. Children learn integrity and not to fall apart when they lose, they can learn to control their anger as they grow older and acknowledge the victory of others. It teaches them not to look at it as a failure but as an opportunity to improve, mature and grow as needed. They are able to tolerate frustrations more easily and emerge strong from defeat.
The application of this can be seen in real life, often things don’t go as expected and adults are unable to cope with that. A child who has learned to lose, sees errors, finds opportunities and grabs every chance they get to change things that are not going so well.