6 Year Old cries when loses a sports game and doesn't want to play because he's afraid he'll lose — The Bump
One & Done: Only child

6 Year Old cries when loses a sports game and doesn't want to play because he's afraid he'll lose

My 6 year old recently participated in a basketball camp.  It's a 4 day, 2 hours a day thing.  At the end of the session, they play a little game with the four teams at the camp.  If his team doesn't win, he'll walk off the court crying.  Today he didn't want to go because he was afraid his team would lose and he didn't want to lose.

Any advice on how to handle this?  Of course we talk to him about it's not about the winning and as long as he has fun it doesn't matter if he wins and loses.  He enjoys playing and is pretty decent at it so I don't want him to quiet playing.

Think this is a phase or symptom of being an only child?

Any thoughts or insight would be appreciated.

Re: 6 Year Old cries when loses a sports game and doesn't want to play because he's afraid he'll lose

  • A little late to respond, but all only children don't cry when they lose. Its a kid thing in general. Nobody likes to lose; some handle it better than others. Sportsmanship is important: winning or losing. Keep talking to him. I'd actually point blank ask why he's crying. Maybe he's worried he's the reason they lost. If that's the case, y'all can help him practice. Maybe he's afraid he's letting his coach down.
    Daphneh28
  • MrsFL2015MrsFL2015 member
    edited September 2015
    Can I be honest?  I'm a teacher and I have experience with kids that cry over everything.  In general, it's because they haven't been taught how to handle losing or not getting there way.  It's more about coping skills than about being an only child.   Can I ask how he learned that winning was the most important thing in the first place?   Is this a team that's super competitive?  Is someone telling him he has to win?  

    I would talk to him about why he's crying.  If he feel likes a failure, then you need to sit down with him and talk to him about how sometimes in life we can't always win.  I'm a big believer in striving for the best, but we do need to teach kids that sometimes life doesn't always go our way.  Our society seems to want to reward our kids for everything now, but not teach them how to learn from a set back, a mistake, an experience.   I was raised with the attitude that you're not always going to win or the best at something, but you can try your best.  If you fail, then you figure out why and try to fix it.  Getting upset is OK, but not to the extent of embarrassing yourself on the field or in front of your friends.  

    You need to teach him, but you also need to show some tough love. I would talk to him about what to do the next time he doesn't win.  Give him so coping skills. Even role play not wining.   Then give him some tough love. Talk to him about how his behavior is being looked at by others.  Ask him, "Do you want to be the sore loser?  The kid that's crying on the field?  Do you want others to think you're acting like a baby?"   If he continues to act this way on the field, then tell him he can no longer play because he's not mature enough.    We just need to put our foot down sometimes and say this behavior isn't acceptable.  Sometimes kids act out and cry simply because they've always been allowed to and no one has stopped them. 
    mindaa
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  • I agree with the poster above me, as I used to be a preschool teacher and I have nannied many different kids (both some that have siblings and some that don't). If they aren't taught how to deal with the disappointment of losing, they are going to react in the moment. 

    My DD is almost 4, and is playing a team sport. We have found that the easiest way (for us) to teach her to lose, is to make sure she doesn't always win at home. We play board games a few night a week, and she wins some, she loses some. In the beginning, she hated losing, but now she just goes "awww!" and then shakes my hand, says "good game" and then states "maybe I will win next time!". And some nights we play the game 4-5 times, and she only wins once out of those times. It is what it is, if you lose, you lose.....you don't always get do-overs and you don't get to whine about losing...otherwise people wont want to play with him/her anymore. 
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    mindaa
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