Many facets of the life of a child are related to being competitive: some kids can do something faster or better in kindergarten than other kids can. Some kids do really well in spelling at school or they often win in sports. While teaching kids to win and excel is important for parents, teaching them to fail is just as important. Children realize that life is full of second chances by showing them that failing is not the end of the world.
Teach children what exactly is winning
Playing a game or being the best in the class gives kids a positive feeling and makes them proud of themselves. It tells them that something which builds their self-confidence is good for them.
A confident kid is more likely to develop a 'can-do-attitude'. This is because the experience of winning makes children get inspired to take the next steps, such as jumping even higher, to reach even greater goals. Competition is also helpful in inspiring kids to do better than is required. This is a skill that prepares kids in their future lives for a number of circumstances where it is up to them to determine whether they want to be part of the crowd or to be rewarded for moving a step further. Winning contests, in that sense, allows children to excel.
It is important for parents to note that there is a lot more to winning a competition. For kids, any competition is a socializing experience. Participating in kindergarten, school or playground competitions may help parents educate their children about the value of teamwork, dedication to a goal, collaboration, and respect for the opponent. Each game is also a chance for kids to learn to play according to the rules. Although these rules seem to children to be arbitrary, they need to understand that rules serve specific purposes. Competitions are a good way to explain to children the reasoning behind the rules in order to help them understand and obey them.
Tell them what they can learn from losing
Basic skills children need to acquire in order to cope with traumatic events in life as they become older are the feeling of failing and moving on. It may not seem fair to kids that a kid can do something faster or better than he or she can do, but parents can show their kids that they all have different abilities and that it's impossible to be successful at all.
Research has shown that it is good for children to lose games because it helps them to display empathy and deal with the losing experience.
In order to be able to compete when they fail in a game in front of their peers, children need to practice losing.
Children who do not lose will grow up to be nervous, so they tend to see the risk of not winning as some sort of damage and can not cope with circumstances that do not go their way.
The only way for kids to learn from their errors and think about ways to change is to lose a game. When kids develop their abilities and win the next time, not only do they get better at the game or sport, but they also learn something new. Learning new things increases the confidence and self-belief of children and they start to be proud of their skill.
When kids lose, they also learn to identify with people who have lost. Texas therapist Melody Brook says that the experience of dealing with loss helps children express empathy for other children in the same situation. A kid who has never lost a game would not know that in life, everyone is struggling.
Finally, losing teaches kids that in order to be popular, they need to work hard, and good things are not just handed over to them. Such conditions also help children lose in front of others with grace and to be treated as a fair loser.