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Coping With Disappointments: Teaching Your Child About Winning and Losing


I felt like writing this in the hopes of sharing our experiences about winning and losing to other parents who let their kids join in contests. Coping with disappointments graciously is something that we all should learn. In life, we will all experience losing or getting disappointed one way or another. Let us help our kids navigate through their emotions during these times.

An Important Teaching: Coping with Disappointments

coping with disappointments in life- teaching children - homeschooling in Bacolod - Bacolod mommy blogger - SM Little Stars - sore loser - The Voice Kids - SM City Cebu

Coping With Disappointments Graciously

In the light of the recent finale of the The Voice Kids where Lyca Gairanod won and that left a wailing runner-up Darlene Vibares on stage calling for her mama. For a mom like me, that was a sad and hard thing to look at. I felt sad for Darlene but at the same time, we also have to teach our kids

I think that we all should have the right perspective in joining contests so that these situations may be avoided. Darlene had been subjected to online bashing because she was labeled a brat who could not accept defeat. I feel bad that she had to go through that and I wouldn’t want Dindin to endure such.

On the same day that The Voice Kids ended, the SM Little Stars 2014 Bacolod elimination was also held. Our daughter Dindin won. And we are so proud of her.

coping with disappointments in life- teaching children - homeschooling in Bacolod - Bacolod mommy blogger - SM Little Stars - sore loser - The Voice Kids - SM City Cebu
Din’s production number during the regionals held at the SM City Cebu.

But I thought of waiting until the Regional Finals in Cebu were over before writing this. Now, Dindin didn’t win in the Regional Finals. But nobody in our family cried and we still had so much fun after the contest. It was still a privilege to be sent to Cebu in order to compete. It was also kind of a free vacation for our family.

Life and Disappointments

So how did we teach the concept of winning and losing to Dindin? Here are the things we told her.

1. Identify your purpose for joining.

We liked the prizes that will be given away at the SM Little Stars Grand Finals so we are willing to go through the three rounds of eliminations before we can get to the finals.

coping with disappointments in life- teaching children - homeschooling in Bacolod - Bacolod mommy blogger - SM Little Stars - sore loser - The Voice Kids - SM City Cebu
Fashion show portion.

That was also clear for Dindin. This is the first talent contest that Dindin joined. Since she is homeschooled, we consider this as part of her extra-curricular activities. So while others in regular schools may compete for grades, we compete for the prize.

2. Give it your best shot.

We encouraged Dindin to do her best, quoting a memory verse from one of her lessons, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” Taken from Colossians 3:23, this verse should very much be our attitude about joining contests.

If you do your best with all your heart and do it for the glory of God, it does not matter whether you win or lose. The point of the matter is to please God. If you win, it is already a bonus. Explaining this to your child also makes it easier to comfort him if he loses.

3. Allow the idea that someone else may be better than you.

While our kids may be good at what they do, we have to give allowance that someone else might be better than them in a certain aspect. Or sometimes, there are technical problems or suddenly your child is not well enough to perform. There are many factors to winning and we have to give allowance for these things.

4. Never promise victory to your child.

On the contrary, tell your child the truth. She could win the first prize or land in the minor slots. Or she may not win anything at all. Like in the SM Little Stars, it’s an all or nothing game.

5. Give the assurance of love and acceptance.

Children need to be reassured time and again of our love and acceptance. And this is especially true when joining contests. They need to be reassured that we love them no matter what the outcome of the contest is.

coping with disappointments in life- teaching children - homeschooling in Bacolod - Bacolod mommy blogger - SM Little Stars - sore loser - The Voice Kids - SM City Cebu
We have her back. Our family is together in this.

6. Teach the difference about losing and failing.

This situation reminds us of the story of the King of Scotland—King Bruce—that Dindin often reads as part of the Aesop’s Fables collection. King Bruce lost the battle seven times but he got up eight.

That means he kept on fighting until he won the battle for his kingdom. We are teaching Dindin to keep trying until she succeeds. Losing is not failure. But quitting is. That’s GRIT.

7. Be humble.

In the same manner, we have taught her to be humble in victory. She has watched shows where the topic is bragging and she understands how annoying bragging can be.

Protecting Kids from Disappointments

We have to admit that we also thought of NOT letting Dindin join contests in order to protect her from disappointments.

coping with disappointments in life- teaching children - homeschooling in Bacolod - Bacolod mommy blogger - SM Little Stars - sore loser - The Voice Kids - SM City Cebu
Talent portion.

However, we cannot deny the fact that our lives have its share of disappointments, albeit in different levels of gravity. But they are there. The important thing is to teach our children how to cope with disappointments when they arise.

Will your children become successful? Or will they become sore losers? Well, I think it depends on how we teach them. God bless us all in this journey! 😀

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23 thoughts on “Coping With Disappointments: Teaching Your Child About Winning and Losing

  1. Awww naalala ko when Yona joined her first ever singing competition. She cried afterwards not because she lost but because she couldn’t believe that she is capable of singing in front of so many people. I never let her feel bitter after that experience because from the very start I was telling her to do it for God’s glory, not for the medal.

  2. I saw Darlene’s reaction after Lyca was proclaimed as the winner. At first, nairita ako but later on I felt sorry for her. I don’t know, maybe sa parents din nya kng bakit sya nagka ganoon. 🙁 Anyway, I agree that when you join a contest, i-enjoy mo lang and just give your best. If you lose, ok lang, charge to experience na lng. If you win, much better. Anyway, congrats to Dindin and of course sa inyo ni Daddy Dennis for a job well done! 🙂

  3. In defense of Darlene (obviously I am a fan): What I noticed was that the parents were not beside her during the announcement of the winner. I don’t know for what reason. Only the winner’s parents were allowed to climb up the stage that Lyca’s parents were there? Also, for me, this was an emotional moment for the kid. She was already crying before the announcement. I believe she stumped her feet not because she lost. It was the peak of her crying. She needed someone to console her. I remember she also cried when her friends lost in the battle round. Was it her sister or mom who asked her, “Natalo ka ba?” Just trying to be objective.

    After watching their performances, I actually was expecting Darren to win. I was disappointed with the result. Yes, I would want Lyca to get the prize. But to me, the title really belonged to Darren.

    I am just glad that during this competition, I was beside Dindin during the announcement of the winners. I felt proud to stand beside her no matter what the result was.

  4. It is a very important moment to teach a child. You can win but it means that you can lose. A kid should be happy to become better knowing a kid might be on the losing side.

  5. I totally agree with teaching your kids that you may not always win, and yes that sometimes it will suck but what they did and the bravery it took to even try is incredible and that they should be totally proud either way.

  6. I don’t look at disappointments as failures which is a lot of what I have heard. it is good to be disappointed sometimes!

  7. Teaching kids how to deal with disappointments, mistakes and failures is very important indeed. They need it to cope with the realities of life. And it’s really the responsibility of parents.

  8. This is an important lesson for our children — some parents still haven’t learned it themselves yet! I didn’t watch the Voice Kids so I didn’t see what happened. But I do watch other competitive shows like World of Dance where there are a lot of kids (entire divisions for kids). Most of them have been taught well how to handle losing on a national stage. Maybe it’s because they are competition kids.

  9. This is so important! I teach dance to kids and we go to multiple competitions a year. We talk a lot, before competition season starts, about working hard for themselves instead of focusing on “beating other kids”. We want them to just work on bettering themselves at each competition.

  10. I remember when we had my daughter and I told my wife at the time that two things were essential. My daughter needed to try a bunch of different things. And anything she started she had to finish. But once she finished she didn’t have to do it again if she didn’t like it. It is important to be able to fail and realize failure is just a way station on the road to success. Definitely important post.

    1. That is great David. I agree with that. They don’t have to repeat something they don’t like. But at least, they should try it.

  11. Not winning graciously and being humble when you do win are both wonderful skills to teach. Congrats to her for getting sent there to compete!

  12. Nice post. Teaching your child how to cope with disappointments about losing and winning is quite important. I always do this with my children to develop their good personalities.

  13. I agree with everything you said about child expectations in terms of losing and winning. It is a great start for them to prepare for the future since adults also don’t always win.

  14. Good points here. Disappointment is an inevitable part of life. Even the happiest, most “zen” people experience it at times. Disappointment comes in various forms, but what is constant is that it is something you will have to face throughout your life. Rather than trying to live your life without ever feeling disappointment, focus on learning how to best deal with those feelings so that you can let things go and move on without letting the feelings of disappointment hanging over you.

  15. It’s one of the important topics we need to teach all kids. The early they learn to cope with disappointments, the better their personality will be in the future. You have written it nicely on highlighting the topic.

  16. It is Very Important Talaga to teach our kids to accept what happens lalo na if losing on A competition. Mahalaga yung nasa likod nila tayo at ienjoy natin yung Moments. Maybe this is not her spotlight but encourage them to join again until she succeeds..

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