Learning How To Lose – One Of The Most Important Lessons In Life

March 26, 2018

Do you always let your child win? Even if you think it’s the right thing to do, letting him win gives him a false success. In fact, your child may have already realized this and may have said to you on more than one occasion, “Dad! Don’t let me win, play properly!” I’m sure the first time he said it left you stunned! He wants the very challenge that you are trying to avoid.

Although this may seem silly, the truth is that with this attitude you are preventing your child from growing. You’re preventing him from maturing and finding out that sometimes he’ll succeed, but other times he won’t. Because of this, learning how to lose is very important in the early stages of life. We can’t always win and knowing how to accept both results will be very valuable in the future.

Learning how to lose is just as important as knowing how to win. If you let your child win he will never have this opportunity.

Do you let your child win because you’re afraid he’ll feel bad?

Undoubtedly, in most cases you let your child win because you fear that his self-esteem will be diminished. You think he’ll feel bad and that he’ll be scarred by a succession of defeats. But all you are doing is preventing them from going through the great experience of learning how to lose. Of learning that they have to improve and overcome in order to win.

The saying “you have to know how to lose” is a very apt one. When you put it into practice it allows you to overcome barriers, conflicts and problems that always arise when you least expect it. But none of this will be possible if you always let your child win. He’ll be losing out if you always pretend to lose, when there’s no way he could have beaten you. How can you face always feeling bad if you win every single game?

Father fishing with son

Giving your child an advantage

One way of doing this right is by giving your child an advantage. In this way, you’ll make sure you are at the same level as him. You can also take into account the difficulty of the game. There are some games which children are still too young for. In these types of games it’s a good idea to play in a team. By playing together you can act as a kind of support for their learning.

We tend to think that defeat affects the self-esteem of our children, however this is not true, against all odds they actually get stronger through it

If your child experiences what it is to lose, you’ll have a great opportunity to teach him how to assimilate a defeat. For example, you can show him that it is far more important to enjoy the moment than to focus so much on the final result. In this way, the end will not be a determining factor. You’ll have taught your child to focus on what they feel throughout the whole experience.

The importance of learning how to lose

It is very important that your child experiences what it is to lose his battles. Let him learn how to face them with integrity and not fall apart when they happen. That way he will learn not to get angry with others, and will be able to acknowledge their effort and their victory. Often, in these defeats, we learn a lot of lessons on how to do better the next time.

Learning how to lose will allow your child not to consider a failure as a door that closes suddenly. He will see that it is actually an opportunity to improve, mature and grow in those aspects in his life which still need to develop. He will be able to tolerate frustration much more easily. Instead of letting himself be dragged down by opponents or enemies, he will know learn how to use defeat in his favor and emerge all the stronger from it.

Child learning how to lose

Without a doubt, the child will see that, in defeat, he shares part of the responsibility of what happens. This is also the case when real life doesn’t meet his expectations. It will be an opportunity to learn not to blame others. He’ll see that there’s no such thing as bad or good luck interfering in the result. In this way, he’ll see his errors as an opportunity to put things right. He’ll see it as an opportunity to change or a chance to correct something that he hasn’t done well.

When you lose, you sometimes also win, because you can always learn something from defeat.

The great experience of losing

If you let your child win you will be preventing him from enjoying the great experience of losing which, although it may seem negative at first, is very necessary. Sooner or later you’ll encounter difficulties that you have to solve. If you have not learned how to lose, how can you expect to act with integrity, maturity and know how to stand up to defeat in much more important matters than a mere game?

Whether you win or lose, you always learn something. The most important thing is the path we take and knowing how to enjoy everything along the way. Therein lies the true substance of all learning. Don’t be worried if your child gets sad about losing a game. Because, after all, that’s all it is – a game. In no time at all your child will get over it. If he learns to accept the result in a sporting way, whatever it is, then you’ll be laying a very strong and powerful foundation that will allow you to overcome any obstacle that may arise in the future.

Boy with father

Images courtesy of Pascal Campion