No one has a perfect child. Even the most well behaved little one will throw tantrums, get irritable, make is a part of childhood and who would want to teach their kid to hold themselves up to such a high standard anyway?

One area where many times people (not just children) struggle the most is in being gracious losers. We can’t win every time, but when we fail any one of us may be prone to reacting badly. If you have noticed this trend in your family it may be time to step in and teach them how to manage their emotions when they don’t come out on top.

It may be a good lesson for you, as well.

The Science Behind Sore Losers

Most of us get at least a little emotional when we lose. Some of us completely go off the rails. This isn’t merely a phenomenon with kids. Adults who never learned to regulate their emotional responses when losing probably started that behavior when they were very young.

What causes this reaction? Studies have pointed to the amygdala as the possible culprit, the area of the brain that regulates emotions. When the amygdala kicks in it can impact our decision making and - yes - even our behavior.

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome that particular reaction. Anyone who finds themselves snapping over a defeat, perceived or real, can change the way they behave. But the younger the person is, the easier this lesson will be. That is where you come in: you can teach your kids to be better losers and so happier people.

Tips For Getting Children Over The Bad Loser Hump

  • Show kids how to be mindful of their emotions. Sometimes all you need is to be able to single out and identify an emotion to get over the pain of one.
  • Live by example. If you do badly when you are disappointed, your kids will also do badly. Children emulate behavior, especially from their parents.
  • Give them a sense of perspective. We all lose sometimes. But we also win other times. Try to instill a sense of perspective and a “maybe next time” attitude in your little ones.
  • Be emotionally supportive. Your children are allowed to be upset, disappointed and even crushed by their loss. Just try to be there for them and give them emotional support.
  • Keep ages in mind. A young child is going to have a harder time managing their emotions than a teenager. A teenager is going to have a harder time than an adult.
Author's Bio: 

Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn