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Help Your Child be a Good Sport

Are your kids good losers? If not, you’re not alone. In the competitive world we live in, children are taught directly and indirectly from a young age that winning is the goal. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our kids that while winning a game may be a worthwhile goal to work toward, that being agood winner and a good loser is critical in helping you get the most enjoyment possible out of a game.

My son Connor, now 9 1/2 years old, learned this lesson the hard way. We had a family game night every Monday night for years. UNO was the most popular game for several of the years. And nearly every game ended the same way. We’d be having loads of fun, we’d have to stop along the way for fits of laughter, and then all of a sudden someone other than Connor would shout “Uno!” and everything would go downhill from there. Assuming that there was no way he would be able to win after hearing the shout, Connor would ruin the rest of the game for all of us, sulking, crying, getting mad. Typically a very gentled mannered and kind kid, he would come unglued at the thought of losing, ruining any chance of walking away with positive memories and almost always hurting his chances of winning. After all, you can still win after someone has called out “Uno!”

But, we kept on playing and now, we’re onto Boggle. And, wouldn’t you know it? Connor is loving playing games and is all about the experience, regardless of whether he wins or loses. It just took a lot of playing games for him to learn how to be a good sport.


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