I suck at losing. Maybe I’m just competitive? Either way I’m terrible at it.
But now that I’ve got little humans watching my every move I’m better at not letting it show (or at least I hope I am).
School athletics were never fun for me, I got the nickname ‘Tangles' pretty early on in life so you can see how those days of running and jumping looked for me, it wasn’t pretty.
So when it came time for my own kids to take to the field I wasn’t really sure what to say to them when they lost.
Tina Syer, a former coach at the high school, college, and Olympic levels says she and her colleagues jokingly refer to it as “the dreaded post-game analysis”.
The guys from fatherly.com asked her for some of her best tips for turning that conversation into the teaching moment you always knew it could be.
These 4 were my favourite points and made me feel like I wasn’t going to do any irreparable damage with my post event ramblings:
1. Don’t jump in and try and fix it
It’s okay for them to be disappointed. Say you’re sorry they lost and then just be there for them.
2. Ask them if they want to talk about it
And if they don’t, just let it go. They might not even be thinking about it anymore. It’s likely it wasn’t as big of a deal to them as it was to you.
3. Don’t make it about you
It’s easy to want to tell them you’ve been through something similar but shifting the focus to you will lose them, they’ll likely switch off and it will end with an eye roll.
4. Win or lose, praise effort
Not just general feel good stuff here though. Be specific and truthful when you praise effort, not outcome. This sends the right message about what we value as parents.
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Take care of you and yours,