Your 4 year old daughter is about to perform for her dance competition. She is shy, nervous and has stage fright. She is tense about what mistakes she will make. She tries her best at the competition. The results are out and she comes in second. She feels low.
Your 5 year old is going to be a part of a sport competition conducted at school. He runs fast but is only able to come fourth. He is upset about not getting a prize.
How many times have you been through these situations where you don’t know how to deal with your kids' losing ?
We feel miserable when such things occur. All of us want our kids to be winners. But we must remember, not every competition can be won; it is the sense of participation that we should inculcate in our kids.
A five minute talk can really help make a difference in the attitude of your child towards competitions. Help your child develop the right mental attitude, character and strategy to handle failures.
Tips to Handle Failures
Here are a few simple ways by which parents can get their children to be sportive and reduce tantrums if they do not win.
1. Find Something to Praise
A child who feels good about herself doesn’t worry about winning all the time. Fostering self esteem in children is a vital task done by the parent. A friend of mine makes her three year old feel successful by continuously talking to her. She claps and then hugs her dearly whenever her child completes a task. Making them feel important and successful is a vital part of raising their self esteem. Every time they fail to accomplish a task, we should praise them for trying. A pat on the back would work just fine.
2. Teach and Don’t Blame
We, the parents are the first critic of our kid. It is easy to blame our kids for not being successful in getting a part in the play, or for not coming first in the sports competition. “Why didn’t you run?” “What happened to you?” or “You perform at home, but not on stage.” Our kids tend to believe what we say and learn to live with these comments. They lose their self confidence. Criticize the behavior and not the kid. You wouldn’t want your kid to feel like he is not upto the task. You should help them find out what went wrong and make them see the light of doing it right the next time.
3. Being Sportive
You should encourage your kid to understand that winning doesn’t always mean finishing first. Remind them each time they have an annual function or a sports event at school that participating is winning in itself. This will make them feel good about themselves. Ensure that they are participating in activities that they enjoy and not what you want them to take part in.
4. Remind Your Kid to Keep Trying
“Try, try, till you succeed.” Say it along and aloud with your child every time. This way they will never feel let down or ever come to a conclusion that they are not good at it. “There is a next time always” – “Don’t worry you can make it alright” – “Trying can only make you better” – talk to them on a positive note. They need you. Give them your time. Your greatest gift to them is, making them believe in themselves.
What We Shouldn’t Do ?
Buy them gifts. Many parents have a tendency to go overboard when they see that their kid hasn’t got the first prize. “Don’t feel bad, I will buy you a prize.” Every time parents do this, they do not realize that they are only providing an interim relief to children and not letting them handle the situation.