Whether it’s gloating after a game of cards or being the first to finish dinner, are your kids too competitive? My kids are now 5 & 3 and it seems like every chance they get, they try to win! I hear my son saying “I win, I win” all the time. Is that healthy? Of course he is only 3 but maybe this is the best time to teach my children that life is more than winning and losing.
According to Yahoo sports, here are some signs that your child may be too competitive:
– Gloating: “I won! You’re a Loser!” All kids like to win but if your child is a “gloater” than maybe they are too competitive. When your child hurts another child’s feelings, it has gone too far. This is a teaching moment time for your child. Make sure they understand good sportsmanship and even apologize so not to offend other children.
– “I Quit! Some very competitive kids take the attitude that if they don’t win, they won’t play. A competitive child doesn’t want to face loss so they don’t want to play unless they can win. The teaching moment here is that when a child loses it creates character and a bigger desire to win. It’s a great time to encourage practice to give them a better chance to win. And always encourage your child to finish what they started.
–Sore Losers This is clearly the opposite of a gloater. The sore loser has a terrible attitude toward losing. Sometime they will even act out. The best thing to do if your child acts out after a loss is to pull them aside and try to calm them down. It’s not a bad idea to give them some space. Then use this time to teach them how to handle a loss. Be mindful of their feelings but teach them it’s not appropriate behavior.
–Obsessive Concerning Loss This child is so competitive that they can’t let go of a loss. It stays with them for days. This is the time when you should remind a child to let something go that you can’t control. Remind them of their victories and to focus on the good games and not the bad.
-Feeling no Value without Victory This one is important. If your child is so competitive that they place their self worth on winning or losing, you will need to address this immediately. Children need to know that win or lose, they are loved and supported. It’s a good time to teach your child to focus on solutions rather than the problem.
This is also a good time to evaluate your actions as a parent. Do you only praise your child if they win? Do you de-value a loss? There are ways to be proud of your child win or lose. Our children learn our competitive spirit from us, so its important to direct positive energy to our child no matter the outcome. Being competitive is a good thing, but as long as your child is learning from all of their experiences on the field.
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