Q: How do you teach a 9-year-old to lose a game with grace? My child usually reacts by yelling and claiming that he was "robbed."
A: Talk to your son about his behavior, suggests James Windell, author of Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes. "Say, 'The last time we played, you got angry and said some nasty things when you lost. It's better to thank your opponent for a fun game and congratulate him. That's what I'd like to see-whether I lose or you do,'" says Windell.
You can also teach your child self-talk strategies, he notes. When he fails to win, repeating phrases such as "It's only a game" or "Although I lost, I'm learning to be a better player" helps him keep his perspective.If your child continues to be a sore loser, stop playing and tell him, "The game is no fun when you act like this. We can try again another day."