Kids Who Just Gotta Win

Dealing with Disappointment

Here's how to help your child be gracious in defeat.

Scenario: Your child loses at Blokus for the third time in a row and storms out of the room.

What to do: Once you've given her a few minutes to calm down, acknowledge her frustration. Then point out how much she has improved since she started playing.

Scenario: Your child strikes out twice in a Little League game and feels like a flop.

What to do: Ask him whether he'd like to go to the park and practice his hitting with you before his next game. Remind him that even Hall of Famers strike out a lot of the time.

Scenario: Your child tries very hard in soccer but never scores a goal.

What to do: Congratulate her effort, and draw her attention to positive things she did on the field (such as making a good pass).

There Are No Losers

Tone down your child's competitive streak by encouraging activities that promote cooperation, sharing, and teamwork.

Art projects. Get out paints (or clay) and have everyone make a mural or a sculpture together.

Dance party. Make a mix of kid faves, then have your child and her friends take turns showing off their moves.

Science lab. Take a bunch of kids for a nature walk, or set up a kitchen-science experiment.

Drama. Fill a box with old costumes and props, and have the group put on an improvisational show.

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