They are not interested in moral victories, or how to help a child deal with failure

Parent support can bring relief to the child and speed up the return to emotional balance. They are not interested in moral victories.

They are not interested in moral victories, or how to help a child deal with failure
They are not interested in moral victories, or how to help a child deal with failure

Coping with failure is a process. It takes time to relieve difficult feelings: anger and jealousy. Parent support can bring relief to the child and speed up the return to emotional balance. They are not interested in moral victories.

Don't be afraid of difficult emotions

Announcement of the list of winners, whistle of the judge, reading the names of the winners, articaling the list of winners ... The winners triumph, the losers are sad. Those who fail have to deal with a bitter sense of failure. Some children run straight to their parents and talk about what happened to them, others need solitude - they keep their poker face and don't want to be comforted by their parents at the first moment.

Children themselves give us a signal when they need our support. It is worth waiting for such a signal. Talking is not a cure for all evil, and it certainly does not protect you from experiencing difficult feelings. However, it can be a space where feelings lose some of their power. So if the child is ready to talk, it is worth taking up. The one who can admit to his uneasy emotions gains a valuable tool to weaken them.

In a conversation, it is worth giving the child a signal that his feelings are justified - after all, most of us are sad, angry or ashamed when we lose. Trivialization of the child's feelings, although undertaken in good faith by the relatives, does not accelerate the return to balance. If our child hears:

Nothing happened; Stop crying already, you'll do better next time; You know these games weren't really that important

- She knows that she will have to deal with bitter feelings in loneliness. What happened is important to a child. And our conversation with him should be an expression of the fact that we simply understand what losing means for him and what the child is facing now.

Once your emotions have subsided, it's time to analyze more intellectually what happened. Often it is enough to patiently accompany the child in his story. It, by sharing its feelings with us, leads itself not only towards balance, but also to work out conclusions for the future. Little athletes, for example, analyze the various stages of the competition, and their expressive descriptions reveal strategies for the future every now and then (It was really not good, in the next match we will do it like this ...).

It is important for the adult to help the child clarify how these insights would be implemented. The child looks for sources of failure and then for remedial action, regardless of the fact that of course the trainers, teachers and parents do it. The voice of the child should be heard, which does not mean that it is to be determined by the view of an adult - but it should not be underestimated or neglected (the coach certainly knows better, leave it to him). The child should feel that his perceptions and feelings are important and that they will not be overlooked by others. Thanks to this, a young player or representative gains the conviction that he influences what is happening and is jointly responsible for his improvement.

As an adult, you also need to look for answers

A parent who accompanies in coping with failure must answer the question of what the child's rivalry and its consequences mean for him. It's good that a parent empathically supports his offspring on his sometimes difficult paths to success. However, he should not give up his position as a person who evaluates these struggles in a mature and balanced manner. Meanwhile, not infrequently, during competitions, tournaments or contests, we observe parents who function almost like competitors: they comment on the jury's decisions, loudly judge their child's rivals and do not spare them any sharpness. They also do not spare their child: they give her hints or tips to the end, even though the child gives a signal that it just distracts them. An adult, even if he strongly identifies with the child in competition, should tone down his emotions before the fight so as not to overburden the young representative with his expectations. Final sentences

This time it must be successful; You've worked so much on it that you will definitely win

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they express parental expectations to an extent that more emotionally overwhelms the child than mobilizes to fight. Winning in the competition is a derivative not only of our disposition, but also of our opponents, and we no longer have any influence on it.

Help your child choose well

Throughout the school year, especially in the first half of the year, the child receives information about many subject competitions or Olympiads. At the beginning, it is worth encouraging them to choose a form in which they have a real chance to present themselves well. Students usually apply to many competitions, sometimes uncritically assessing their ability to reliably meet the requirements of this competition. Parents and teachers should help the student to identify which competitions he is able to prepare for and reasonably determine the number of competitions.

It is worth determining what specific activities at the preparatory stage are on the child's side. A representative who has the feeling that he has worked diligently and persistently is usually more calm about competition than one who believes that he is taking part in a challenge for which he is not ready. This is most evident in those struggles that require personal oral presentation of knowledge. The child does not feel well, feeling that the rivals are beyond him in terms of solid preparation. It feels like an embarrassing experience. The situation in which we say "Try" to the child in subject competitions, and we have not created space for him to actually possess a certain amount of knowledge or acquire new skills, does not serve anyone.

On the other hand, adults should be careful not to strengthen the child's tendency towards the so-called neurotic perfectionism, which is manifested, inter alia, by setting unrealistic goals that cannot be met [1].

A person who is overly perfect in the process of preparing for a competition not only sets too many tasks to be fulfilled, but also constantly believes that he should do more. Therefore, in conversations with a child, it is worth exposing irrational beliefs, showing that behind them there are tasks that are impossible to fulfill and defining goals that can be achieved and adjusted to the child's needs.

Before starting the competition, it is worth talking to the future representative about the experienced stress. Show him that this stress has a mobilizing function and stimulates the body to act. It can be very helpful to show your child how we deal with stage fright and tension ourselves.

Look for an example in your own and someone else's life

In a losing situation, it helps to show the child that failures affect everyone and do not close the way to ultimate victory. You can refer to examples from your own life or the lives of loved ones - in every family we will find stories that persistent and patient pursuit of the goal has been successful. You can also use biographies of famous people. No failure can diminish the chance of another success. There are plenty of examples in the biographies of famous athletes that initial failures did not ultimately prevent them from achieving champion status. The same examples can be found in the biographies of outstanding artists or scientists - their greatness and ultimate effectiveness are not excluded from experiencing the first failures and failures [2].

The most valuable thing is to show your child that there are many different successes in his own biography. If we help a child build an internal treasury of his achievements (from various areas and from different areas of life), to which he will be able to reach when he is struggling with failure, we will support him on the way of regaining motivation to new challenges.