Des Moines, IA

You Can’t Always Win

Boy holding trophyA competitive spirit can be a great trait, but it can become difficult as a parent when your child doesn’t win. Emotions fly high and feelings are hurt. Children may easily become mad, frustrated, or sad.

How do we teach our children about competitiveness and that they aren’t always going to win?

Team sports are little easier to handle as everyone wins and loses together. There is camaraderie and support. Individual sports and activities present a little more of a challenge as it becomes more self-focused.

Here are a few tips when discussing competitiveness with your children:

1. Discuss with them why they thought they lost? Can they pinpoint something that may have happened? Something they did or didn’t do? Many times replaying the events can help them shed light on what they could have improved. If you happened to video tape the competition, play the video for them and see if they spot any mistakes or reasons they may not have won.

2. Talk to them about their practice schedule. Did they practice as often as they should have? Did they practice at all? Remind them about the importance of practice, even when they may not want to.

3. Not everyone can win and that’s okay. Children need to be reminded that as long as they put forth their best effort, that’s all they can do. They may win, they may lose, but loss can help us determine how to improve for next time.

At the end of the day, or the competition, it’s important to remind your children that the most important expectations they need to reach is those they have set for themselves. Did they try their best of just skate by? Discuss ways to improve. More practice time? More coaching?

Most importantly, remind them you are always there to support and help.

Farrells-MA_Kicker LogoTKD Tip: Some children are naturally more competitive than others. Some of this may have to do with the parents or just their personalities. If you notice your child is very competitive from an early age, it’s important to discuss with them how to have a good winning and losing attitude.

Parent/Child Activity: Family game night is a great way to encourage and teach good competitive attitudes about winning and losing. Some games are won more by chance while others are through strategy or ability. Select one game to play from each of these categories and explain if they lost why they lost. This helps kids see that sometimes it’s how the cards are dealt and other times it’s how they prepare and act that determines the winner.

Location Info

Beaverdale School         Waukee School
2706 Beaver Ave.            215 N. Warrior Lane
Des Moines, IA 50310       Waukee, IA 50263
515-255-0095                  515-978-3000