5-Year-Old Is Sore Loser of Titanic Proportion!

Question

My 5 year old son is a terribly sore loser. Everytime he loses he either sobs uncontrollably or stomps of fuming mad. He is the oldest of 4 siblings (in case that is relevant). My husband and I have no patience for sore losers. We tell him to cut it out, that he won’t be allowed to play if he cries when he loses, no kids want to play with someone who can’t lose, etc. When he calms down we explain to him that losing is apart of life, no one can win all the time, God calls us to be gracious when we lose/don’t get our way, etc. He is going into kindergarten and I want to squash this. He is generally very well behaved, we have done the ticket system, he has 3 tickets and it is rare he loses them all.

Answer

my wife and i cured this with our son by simply not allowing him to play anything competitive for a month, during which time he was not allowed to participate in family board games (but had to sit on a nearby sofa while the rest of us played) and not allowed to participate in team sports (but was taken to them by us and made to sit in the stands while his team played). this was not presented as punishment, mind you. we simply told him that throwing tantrums when you lose a game means you are not ready to play the game, but have to watch to see how other people, including other children, react when they lose and learn from them. within a week, he was begging to be allowed to play and promising, but we kept him separated for one month and then told him that he could play but that if he threw one tantrum, the next separation would be two months. it never happened again. john

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