I hope your child loses. You may think I am crazy but I can explain why. What do Micheal Jordan, Thomas Edison have in common. They all saw the tremendous value in losing. To quote Micheal Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Growing up I played lots of games with my Parents. Spy Alley, Chess, Checkers, Sorry and Simply Suspects. The one theme that held true is that they never let me win. It seems that in this day and age many parents are afraid of playing games that have a loser. Cooperative games have gained steam as a way to avoid the negative connotation with losing and parents have tried to “protect” their children from the sting of a loss. But I am telling you, you should let them lose and here are 4 good reasons why.
- Learning how to deal with loss is one of the most important life lessons, as loss is simply a major part of our life experience.
- Losing a game isn’t the only time you’ll face defeat, and how you respond and pick yourself back up says a lot about you.
- Losing also gives you drive and purpose. It makes you want to strive to be better and achieve what you previously couldn’t.
- Teaching resilience now sets kids up for success because they learn that failure isn’t the end of the world. It’s just a chance to try again.
Losing is not what defines you. You are not a loser because you lost. Losing is an opportunity to learn. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 ways to make a lightbulb and is quoted as saying “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” So let your kids lose. Even encourage it. It is an opportunity for them to learn and grow. We want a generation of children who dare to dream not afraid to fail.
Games are a great way to do this. Not only did playing games like Spy Alley, Checkers, and Chess give me the opportunity to fail in a consequence free environment. They allowed me to learn from my mistakes and become a better player and better thinker.