How can I teach my child that it's okay to lose?

How can I teach my child that he can’t always be first, win first in games/life? My child is 6, and he has a really hard time with accepting that he can’t always be first or win at games. I want to teach him that we play family games or games with friends to have fun, not to win or be “the best”. I try to tell him “you can’t always be first. I’m not going to always be first, and I’m not always going to win and that’s okay.” but he gets mad every time and it seems like it doesn’t go through because every time we do play games or things where there’s a “winner” and he doesn’t win or isn’t first, he gets really angry and starts being mean to everyone. Do you guys have any suggestions on a different approach that I can try, to where I can make him understand? I don’t know what else to do, please help!


Model being a good loser when he does win. Tell him you had fun even if you didn’t win and that’s what counts. When he loses tell him he still did a good job and that it was fun! I started doing this with my son and he went from kicking and screaming at every loss to practicing the same behavior. He’s five. It takes a while and if your child still loses control tell them that you’ll put the game away and that you can play again once everyone is calmed down. If they continue with this behavior, set a boundary at the beginning of the gamw. “Last time we played things didnt go so well. It makes me sad/upset when we play a game and you yell/kick/scream at me. If that happens I’m going to be done playing” and if the behavior happens then reiterate what you said and that you are done playing. Put the game up! They can move on to another task such as coloring, playing tag, etc. After a while you’ll see improvements.

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