9 Reasons to Let Your Kids Lose (page 2)

9 Reasons to Let Your Kids Lose

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Updated on Jan 8, 2012

Life is full of chances to show kids that losing isn't the end of the world.

Admit mistakes. Be open with your children about your own errors and how you fix them. This shows that no one is perfect. "Every day we all make mistakes. Maybe you're making a recipe and you forgot an ingredient," Oliver says. "As adults, we have to be vulnerable about it."

Keep score – sometimes. Carter suggests maintaining a balance between the number of times you keep score in games and the number of times you don't. "You can just send the message that we're just here having a good time," she says. "It's also a way to prevent a loss." But if you never keep score, she says, your kids won't learn what losing is like.

Challenge them. Encourage your children to get better at everyday tasks. Play a game that's a bit harder than they've played before or assign them a household chore. "Give them challenges at home that are maybe beyond their abilities, and let them see that they can learn to do it," says Brooke, author of Oh, Wow! This Changes Everything!

Brooke adds that kids who are never allowed to lose can grow up anxious and depressed. They've never learned to cope when life doesn't go the way they've planned. "On the inside, they don't understand what is going on," she says. "They feel that the world is somehow harming them."

But learning that it's possible to lose a game and get though the day intact goes a long way toward preparing kids for real life.


"Our job as parents is not to make our children happy," Brooke says. "Our job is to help them to be happy in the world."


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