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Nobody Likes Sore Losers

We've all heard the saying which is the title of this article, and most of us have also said something similar to our kids. Kids need to learn to take the good with the bad and realize when one person wins a game, another loses. When our kids were younger we all "let" them win a game or two, just to avoid the massive tantrum that could follow. Yes, we knew it was wrong but we went ahead and did it anyway. Now that your kids are a little older it's time to start teaching them an important fact about life; they will lose at something during some point in their life. Learning to accept winning and losing at an early age in life will help them succeed in the future.

How to be a Good Sport:

Start teaching kids about the qualities of a "good sport" and those that are associated with the opposite. "Good sports" are aware of other children's feelings, compliment other children on how well they did or how hard they tried, and offer supportive advice to the other children about how hard the activity was (i.e., "That was the best team in the league, we all did really well). "Good sports" don't put themselves down, say "that was so easy," boast and brag about winning, or make fun of the other team. You can help encourage your child to be a good sport with positive reinforcement. Try making a chart and rewarding your child when he/she has exemplified the qualities of a good sport.

Parents can also help their kids become a good sport by:

  • Congratulating them on their effort.
  • Remaining calm and happy, win or lose.
  • Reminding them how the other kids may feel.
  • Telling/Showing them you love them no matter what.
  • Demonstrating how a good sport acts, by being one yourself.

Encouraging your child to act like a good sport at a young age will persuade them to take losses later on in life with grace. No longer are the days of letting your child "win" to avoid the chaos that ensues. It's time for them to grow up and follow your example of how to take the good with the bad in life.