How to Teach Winning and Losing to Children


  • Everyone is a winner and a loser at some point, so it’s important to know how to do both well.
  • Coaches and parents are vital in teaching their children how to accept wins and losses.

Everybody likes to be a winner but not everybody can win. It is a fact that you will have to face some type of loss and rejection in life. Every sporting event or awards show is going to have winners and losers.
Yet, in many cases, parents do not want their children to have to suffer the feeling of losing. They are protective of their children. This is a completely natural response, but if might not be the healthiest way to deal with the issue. If you protect your child from losing when they are young, the blow to their ego is going to be huge when they enter an environment that does not cater to them. Thus, it is vitally important that you teach your children the fine art of winning and losing.
Winning Gracefully
Even worse than a sore loser is a winner who is a braggart. While you want to teach your children that it is okay to be proud of his or her accomplishment, bragging and boasting to make themselves feel superior to the loser is not. You have to teach your children to win gracefully and to treat their opponents with the respect they deserve.
Losing Like a Champion
For the most part, professional athletes take loss well. However, some do seem to act like overgrown children who never learned the importance of losing like a champion. Instead of blaming others for the loss, you should recognize that the other team simply played better than your team today. Go back to practice with a renewed desire to improve your game and to improve your team.
Parents and Coaches are the Best Teachers
Your children and your team will look at you when they lose a game. They want to see your reaction, and it is up to you to show them how to lose gracefully. Do not cast blame and to not berate the other team. This will send the wrong messages. Remember, everybody loses sometimes.
Activity for Parents and Children

  • Play a game with your child, and make sure you play fair – this can be a board game, keep away with the soccer ball or anything else.
  • Do not always let your child win.
  • While you want to let him or her win on occasion to build confidence, you also want to let your child lose so you can show him or her that it’s not the end of the world.

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