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Why Children Need to Learn How to Lose

Sean McDermott

Posted on November 21, 2020 11:59

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Children who learn how to graciously accept defeat early on are less likely to become sore losers later in life.

The brain of a child is so complex. In the earliest years of life, so many bits of information are being fed into kids to process about what is good, bad, right, wrong and so on. Parents, teachers, and other legal guardians often condition young ones with positive reinforcement, such as rewarding good behavior to build self esteem and confidence (compliments like "good boy/good girl" for saying "please" or "thank you.") All the way up through the ages of five and six years old, many parents are giving their kids a head start racing to the playground entrance. Some pretend they cannot find their kids in hide and seek, and they might even let their young ones sink all of their ships first in a game of Battleship.

No one wants to feel like a monster for beating their kids in Candyland or Monopoly Junior, so many of us sacrifice the rules for the sake of our kids' feelings. Unfortunately, children have to face the inevitable fact that losing is a part of life. 

Board games, video games, and/or physical sports--children are bound to win some and lose some in times ahead. 

Some children will understand and accept losing sooner than others. For those who don't, losing is just too hard of a concept to grasp, and they become sore losers. A sore loser will, among other things, throw temper tantrums, accuse the winner of cheating, claim the end results were "not fair," and will often storm away into isolation.

These behaviors can carry into adulthood, so it is important we ease children into taking a loss so they can lose like mature, dignified, and civilized adults. For example, on June 7, 2014, Steve Coburn, the owner of a Triple Crown contending horse named California Chrome, reacted like a sore loser when his horse lost the Belmont Stakes. After losing, he called the race "unfair" because the winner, Tonalist, hadn't competed in the other two Triple Crown races, and said the rules needed to be changed as such. Basketball star LeBron James and NFL coach Bill Belichick both have been guilty of leaving the court/field before the end of regulation, an ensuing loss, and before congratulating the opposing team.

Celebrity and athletic sore losers are certainly bad, but there may be worse. Many adults are blurring the line between life and sports, and many are parents! These individuals generally believe lacking enough monetary resources makes someone a "loser" and advocating for laws to provide a healthy, modest living makes them sore losers. 

Let's make things clear — a child crying over a Little League game is not the same as a child crying because his/her mother needs health insurance to treat leukemia. Nevertheless, parents will encounter a stubborn unwillingness from their kids. It takes children a long time to graciously accept defeat, but America already knows this. 

There is one sitting in the White House right now.

Sean McDermott

Posted on November 21, 2020 11:59

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Source: Entrepreneur

By teaching your children about small business, you can save money and pass on a legacy.

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