You can’t win unless you learn how to lose. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
If your child participates in any type of competitive activity, whether for sports, school or just family game night, you have most likely dealt with the ramifications of your child losing. It’s never easy to watch your child be defeated, react with anger or struggle to hold back tears, but what if you knew that losing teaches your kids valuable life lessons?
As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to try to console them with hugs and kisses, deal with their misplaced anger and listen to their cries of “It’s not fair!” It is especially difficult when you know how hard they have worked or how much they wanted to win. However, losing is a part of life and learning to lose is one of those tough life lessons that we have to guide our children through.
The good news is that losing can actually be a positive thing. It teaches your child so many life lessons that they can only truly learn by experiencing themselves. And hopefully, these life lessons will continue to serve them long after the the sting of the loss fades away.
Losing teaches your kids compassion and empathy
Losing gives your child a sense of how the other players feel when your child comes out on top. It teaches them to be grateful and gracious, while keeping the other players’ feelings in mind.
Losing helps your child understand that gloating is not acceptable. It teaches them to be humble and refrain from over the top, post game celebrations when they win.
Losing teaches them to cheer for someone else
Many children think the whole world revolves around them and when reality smacks them in the face, they take it hard. Think about it; from a young age, we applaud every little thing they do, whether it is learning to walk, eating something new or reading a book. Everyone is always cheering for them.
Losing teaches them to set aside their own feelings and cheer for someone else. Learning to be humble and truly happy when someone else wins is a difficult concept to learn, but completely freeing once it is mastered.
Losing teaches your kids persistence
My daughter was a gymnast and I’ve watched her fall time and time again. The amazing thing is that even with the bruises, the pain and the fear, she always got back up.
Losing teaches your children to never give up. It drills into them that losing one game is not the end and they must keep trying.
Persistence is doing something again, even when you are scared or you failed at it before. And having persistence is a trait that will help your child in every aspect of their life.
Losing teaches your kids about healthy competition
It’s good for kids to see someone better than them. It opens up their mind to the possibilities and instills the sense of “if she can do it, so can I.”
Losing teaches your kids to dream bigger and work harder. It fuels their fire to make sure they win the next time.
Losing makes them appreciate winning
Winning feels great, but to truly appreciate it, your child needs to lose a few times. They need to feel the disappointment and come back fighting. A victory is that much sweeter after they have experienced defeat.
It will never be easy to watch your child lose, but it makes it a little better when you remember that they are learning and growing from it. Losing is shaping them into extraordinary young adults, which seems like a big win after all.
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