Many parents found themselves in a situation when they cannot play (board games, or sports, or other games) with their children because the child cannot lose. When the child loses the game they become super angry, disappointed, frustrated and throws game pieces around (that’s what often happened to us). And what happens if you’re playing with more than one child? Someone will always lose and they will fight anyway. It’s not fun and many families just stop playing together after several attempts.
There are two different approaches here. The first is to teach the child to lose. Some parents advise starting almost from birth. The second path is to let your child win as much as you can. Although the first path sounds more reasonable, sometimes you as a parent just find yourself on the second path because you don’t want (or do not have enough energy right now) to cope with their strong negative feelings.
That’s normal! Before 6-7 years old, most of the children will think “I’m bad” when losing. That’s just a consequence of their self-centered universe. And you really do not need to teach them to lose before that age. So, relax 🙂 But what you should do instead is to move a focus from the results of the game to the process.
Now we come to board games and especially cooperative ones. Most cooperative board games for kids are made so the probability of losing is much lower than winning. So, you will focus on playing and winning together, being one team, improving your self-concept and not fighting about who won. Sometimes playing together you will lose, but you will lose together. And thus you will show your child how to lose on your own example – that you’re frustrated but it’s ok, you had a nice game together, and you will think together why you lost and what could be done differently next time.
Small summary why cooperative board games for kids are good:
- no more fighting about who won;
- move the focus from being better than others to the game process;
- teaching how to work in a team;
- analyzing the game process and result together;
- teaching your child how to lose on your own example.
So, please start playing cooperative board games with your children and then move to competitive ones. And do not fight about board games, they should be fun!
Do you have any sore losers in your family? :))