It’s devastating seeing your child lose at a competition they’ve worked so hard for. Whether it’s the school’s spelling bee or peewee football, competition is taxing and losing just flat-out sucks. After seeing this photo (post-basketball game) of Oakland-Craig High School’s leading scorer looking defeated and the winning team overjoyed behind her, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse was inspired to write an incredible post about losing on Facebook. Read on for his four tips for helping your kids learn from losing.
“Here are four quick thoughts on the parenting challenge that awaits if your kid loses tonight or tomorrow or Saturday,” Sasse says. In summary, here are his four points.
1. Don’t deflect the blame. “So often, the sweaty uniform hasn’t hit the laundry basket yet, and we’re scrambling to ease the pain of defeat by letting them blame other factors.”
2. Help your kid admit that, for today, the other player was better. “Your gift to him is to encourage him to hold his head up and offer the other guys a ‘good game’ with the sincerity of a man, not the begrudging of a boy.”
3. Give them a minute to lick their own wounds; don’t immediately try to make them feel better about tomorrow. “Perhaps when we let our kids experience this pain, that’s when change happens. This is where the learning occurs, when character development becomes more important than winning or losing.”
4. Oh, and hug them like crazy. “Tell them you love them. Tell them the love is unconditional. Tell ‘em you’re proud.”
Do you agree? Tell us in the comments below!