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Have got a complete mind blank on this one :rolleyes: but where would you put a child who could understand the whole taking turns, spinning spinners, rolling dice etc but not understand that when somebody else gets to the middle that they have not won and won't win.

 

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Is it that they are struggling to accept that the other child has won, thereby preventing them from doing so, or that they think that winning is getting to the middle and don't see it as a process that involves competition with someone else, i.e. every person wins when they get to the middle?

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to this. My daughter had a football match today (they finally won) and I have spent most of the afternoon trying to get warm.....

I think what they can't understand is the whole concept that the game finishes when somebody has got to the middle. One boy told me that he always won when playing with his mum so why couldn't he win when playing with me and two others! I do like the idea of having an observation of 'tough' and 'that's life' as I do think we don't let children experience disappointment as much as they should.

I just wanted to do an observation on him and his lack of understanding of why he didn't win so maybe when playing games with mum she would not always 'let' him win. Maybe I should get the parents to play the game as well.

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This is a very tender age here - and I agree I used to play to win with my own children, but if the way the parents play it is everyone wins when they get to the middle I suppose that makes for a happy child! and that's the rule in his house. Personally at pre-school i don't make a big fuss about who wins, its generally a well done you found all your cards first, now lets see who's going to be next to collect all their cards or whatever. One game which really foxes them is Snail Trail - it's the last snail to cross the line which is the winner - they do find that difficult to understand.

 

I do believe that modelling being a good loser is the best thing we can do for our children though. Life is rarely fair, but if one can lose well without having the sulks or tantrums that shows character.

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we often found it was not an actual winning or losing thing but a need to finish what was started...

there are often times when he satisfaction is in completion and not who wins.. we had a first, second ,third etc scenario in many games.. just so they could finish what they started. sometimes it is good to be able to see things through and not give up because you were not first or the winner.. it can be seen as a positive.

Most families allow the child to 'win' ,I am sure many of us here have done this at home with our own children.. I did.

I always feel that losing and being aware of losing is often a concept that is realised when they are a bit older.. maybe a personal thing but we never felt the need to have a winner or loser at this age.. plenty of years to learn life is not fair.. and it will come..

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I think that, if the child is fine with someone else finishing before them but just feels the need to complete the journey themselves, it is OK to indulge that and just congratulate the winner on getting there first. I don't see this as a deficit in the child's skills, in fact it's a big positive.

 

A child who feels driven to get there first and cannot cope with anyone else winning is a different matter. In that situation, I would be offering reminders throughout the game the anyone could win and what we will do when that happens, possibly introducing the idea that everyone will still be allowed to finish if that take the sting out of not being the winner.

 

It is important to help them understand that you can't win all the time, that nobody wants to play with someone who does that because then they can never win and that there are good ways to manage the emotions that triggers.

 

I have also seen this lesson taught by a practitioner who was always on a bit of a power trip. She seemed to think the object of playing the game was to prove to the child that they couldn't always win and, the more upset the child was, the better the lesson they were learning. The feelings I experienced watching the pleasure she gained from doing this will stay with me for a long time I think.

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