Helping a kid deal with losing...
May 23, 2008 8:25 AM Subscribe
What to do (if anything) about a kid (Kindergarten) who cannot deal with failure/losing?
posted by unixrat to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Right, so school 'Spring' concert last night, each grade stands up front as a group and sings 3-4 simple songs. Three songs in, I can see our daughter forget some of the words to a song, look a little nervous, burst into tears, and walk off during the song. She's inconsolable, wouldn't sit with her class ("Embarrassed"), wouldn't rejoin her class for the whole school sing at the end, nothing.
Not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Our parent-teacher meetings have been glowing - great kid, good worker, friendly, but always with the 'She will avoid doing something if she thinks she'll get it wrong'. We've run into it at home - she won't guess at things, won't try new games without an example or demonstration, that sort of thing. Once you do that, she's a-ok, but she'll never attack it on her own.
We don't punish mistakes, we're very supportive, and she's certainly seen us make our share of mistakes. I play sports and she's seen my softball team get whipped regularly. :) Hasn't seemed to help though. Her response is avoidance and tears, not anger or lashing out or anything.
Okay, crux of the issue: The wife and I got into a (private - after the kid had gone to bed) fight last night over what to do - the wife wants "Professional Help" and I wanted to do nothing - she's six.
The rub is that this is my daughter has picked up a miniature version of my wife's personality, pretty much since birth. My wife is almost exactly like this - she won't play on our co-ed softball team because she's "no good", I had to play with a neighbor's wife during the neighborhood Best Ball golf game because she "doesn't know how to golf", etc., etc. Neither my wife nor my daughter will accept the rationale that "it's only for fun and no one cares."
Apparently this has caused my wife much pain during her life - missing out on things, stress, and so on, and she wants to try and help our daughter avoid the same problems. The problem I have is that I am mystified by these actions. The solution (to me) with not knowing how to play softball is... to play softball. Same with golf. And singing. And life.
So, Mefi, have you any advice? Does my six year old need some sort of professional help? Is there some way we can help her deal with this on our own? My guidance of "Just Do It" isn't working - help!