Nobody likes losing but it happens to everybody at some point in life.  Even if we’ve given it our best shot, things just don’t work in our favor. While losing is inevitable, some kids just take it more seriously than they need to

This is why handling defeat is an important skill every child should learn. It’s okay to want to win at everything but children need to learn about sportsmanship even at a young age.

How to teach kids about losing gracefully?

Teach your little one about losing gracefully with the help of the following tips.

5 Things Parents Need to Teach Kids on Losing Gracefully

Let them understand the rules

One of the key steps to avoid frustrations in defeat is to understand the objective and mechanics of the game. Before your child plays, be sure to explain the rules and how the game is played. By gaining a clear understanding of what makes a player win, they will be less likely to feel shocked upon losing. It will also help avoid any sense of unfairness.

Highlight their performance instead of the scores

The scores may determine the winners of the game but let your child know you weren’t keeping score. It will help them feel better if they know they did great. Tell them you’ve paid attention to how they played instead of the end results and that they did really well.

Focus on the positives

Losing in a competition happens but it doesn’t mean positives can’t be part of what the child gains. Win or lose, there is always something good your child can get from taking part in the activity. Focus on these positives instead of dwelling on the end result. Remind them how much fun it was to have that kind of experience. It would also help to mention some parts of the game when they really stood out and performed well.

Allow them to embrace losing

While it’s not okay to keep on reminding your child about their defeat, parents should still allow their child to embrace the experience of losing. As parents, we have the natural tendency to protect our children from failure and frustration as much as we can. However, if there’s one positive thing our kids can get from defeat, it would be the ability to cope with disappointment. Losing will teach them even more valuable lessons. It will help them understand that it isn’t all about winning. It is all about learning and the experience. It’s about how they put their energy and effort into something.

Allowing your child to lose is also an excellent way to help them develop perseverance. It will help them think of new strategies to do better next time.

Make them feel you are proud

Whether they end up winning or losing, always let your child know how proud you are. This is one of the things many parents forget. Always make it a point to remind them you are proud of them after every game or competition. You may include some extra sweet words like “It makes me feel really lucky and proud to see you out there.” Saying this is a good way to let your little one feel that their participation matters more than the outcome.

Explain the importance of the defeat

If your child hates to lose, it means that they don’t understand the value in failure. Let them understand the lesson they can learn from it. Explain how many successful people in various fields have had to face defeat and failures in their lives before they got to where they are. Tell them it’s not about winning all the time. If not for losing, they won’t learn from their mistakes and they won’t have the drive to aim for improvement.

Show empathy

Making your child feel better after losing is not going to be easy. They may be upset for a while and this is the best time to show them empathy. Instead of losing your temper when they start crying or throwing tantrums, give them a warm and comforting embrace. Remember that they are still processing their frustrations and loss. While they are still overwhelmed with emotions, the best thing you can do is to be there for them.


Dealing with defeat is not easy for young kids. With the help of these tips, they can eventually learn how to lose gracefully and learn from the experience instead. If you want to read more positive parenting tips or find a good quality school for your little one, visit our website, Handprints Academy.