So your child lost a game. It happens – somebody’s practised more; somebody’s teamwork is better – now they have to move on. But how do you react and interact with your child when they lose? How do you help them move on? Read here:
Praise efforts: He lost. It isn’t the end of the world! Also, he is already feeling dejected; you making a big deal about it, especially right out there, on the field is absolutely the worst for him. Instead, praise him for his efforts. Be calm and don’t point out his mistakes till the next day. A fresh day, a fresh start and that’s when you gently tell him where he could improve. In sports, every day is a learning day and every game is scope for improvement. Let that be clear message to your child.
Treat him: Sometimes, treating your child with something he absolutely loves, is a good way of helping him feel better after losing a game. He will begin to cheer up and feel less dejected. In fact, he will immediately start analyzing his own game and start accepting his mistakes; making him resolve to practice better for the next game.
Empathize: Let him know that you understand his feelings. Acknowledge the defeat and let that feeling sink in. Give him genuine support by showing you understand his feelings and that you will encourage his future efforts to practice better.
Don’t lecture: Whatever you do, don’t rant about what did not go well in the game! Don’t criticize your child’s efforts and definitely don’t criticize his team-mates’ or coach’s efforts! Give him time to calm down and talk about the defeat when he has his focus back on the game; not when he is feeling low.