Losing a big game can be disappointing for every member of the team. And after practicing extensively, it can be tough when your child and their teammates’ hard work doesn’t always pay off. But as a parent, there are some steps you can take to help your child cope after an upsetting loss.
We have likely all heard of the phrase “sore loser” and it is something that we definitely don’t want kids to strive for. There is nothing worse than watching your child refuse to shake the opposing team’s hands, stomping off the field, or even throwing a tantrum post game. With that being said, it isn’t always the easiest task to teach your child how not to be a sore loser. Handling your emotions, especially the negatives ones, in a responsible and courteous way is something that even adults will struggle with. But encouraging your child to contain those emotions until they are off the field or at the very least ensure that they go through the motions of congratulating the team is a great place to start.
We often hear about kids celebrating their big wins with a special treat. But what about taking your child out as a way to cheer up after a loss? If they are feeling exceptionally down after the game, going out for their favorite meal, stopping for ice cream, or doing some other fun activity might be exactly what they need to cheer up.
Keep On Practicing
As a child, when you are already feeling down and disappointed you typically are not looking forward to life lesson and lectures on how you can do better next time. As well-intentioned as they are, these types of talks usually do not produce the most positive of replies.
With that being said, losing tends to result in one of two reactions from your child in regards to practicing:
- Increased dedication to improving their skillset.
- A decrease in their motivation to practice and the idea that no matter what they do, they will not win.
If your child’s reaction falls into the latter, it’s important that you continue to push them to practice with hopes of sparking their passion for the sport again. Head to your backyard and play the sport with them yourself or encourage them to play with their friends. Inspire them to get back out there with the hopes of winning the next game.
Losing is a huge disappointment regardless of the circumstance but it is an unfortunate reality that everyone must eventually face. Helping your child to navigate a big loss from a young age can help them to gain important coping mechanism that they will then carry with them well into adulthood.