My youngest hates to lose. That is probably pretty normal for kids who are 8 years old. She hates it so much she cheats and changes the rules to increase her chances to just about 100%. The other day at checkers we were at a stand off. She refused to move any of her bottom row men to the point where all my checkers were advanced as far as they could go. She could not have jumped any of my checkers as they were two rows deep by this point. She did have a king wandering around the back half of the board with no one to jump, as all of mine were at the other end in the stand off. In order to win, she moved one of my checkers back to its starting point creating a weakness in my fortification. I allowed it with protest and clear statements that she was not allowed to change the rules mid-game. Also it was past bedtime; an amicable resolution was in order.
She had played earlier that evening with her older sister and had this same scenario. Her sister, refused to give in, thus a fight and tears ensued. NPR to the rescue. I had heard this piece that morning on the way to work, and it was helpful. (See When Kids Start Playing To Win). “Nim Tottenham, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University, says the section of the brain that helps kids manage the big emotions of losing is the last to develop — so they need lots of help coping.”
“The goal is not just beating your guy next to you. The goal is actually improving upon yourself” explains Raj Verma.
Parents in essence need to help their little ones learn that “The goal is not just beating your guy next to you. The goal is actually improving upon yourself” explains Raj Verma. So thanks to this, I tried to point out that each time she plays checkers, she is getting better and learning a bit more. I tried to stress this part by saying, “You are getting better at checkers.” It seemed to help. She seemed OK with the idea of “getting better” at the game. The hugs really helped too.