Friday night there was an intense game of Chutes and Ladders in our house. I know, my life is very exciting these days. With one minor overlook of a chute, Drew won the game. His celebratory dance shook the house, howls could be overheard by neighbors and days later we were reminiscing over Drew clinching the world championship of Chutes and Ladders.
This bothers me on so many levels. Adam thinks it bothers me because the only child in me wasn’t happy taking a back seat to Drew winning. Although everyone likes winning, I will most definitely rule that out as a reason for my concern.
I know what the opposite of that reaction looks like. With the high of winning being that intense, the low of losing is so low that it takes coal miners to help him out of that slump. And being the person who has to teach him that lesson is more painful than the sibling who has to be the perpetual loser in this scenario.
That brings me to my second concern. No friend is going to want to play with someone who behaves that way in victory mode (not to mention who behaves the opposite way in loser mode). No sibling will happily take the backseat to the maniac winner. I dread the ER visits from the physical harm inflicted to the sibling that beats the maniac.
Sunday’s soccer game, unlike most, was great! Drew had an awesome attitude, didn’t cry once and didn’t even score a goal! He had several good passes to his team mates, he played some really nice defense and he even applauded a team member for scoring! So in some ways I feel a victory myself for Drew being able to find the fun in soccer without always being the star scoring the goals.
I realize that he’s only four years old but I’m afraid the longer he’s allowed to “win,” the tougher my job will be to teach him that you can’t always win. However, I’m not sure I have the strength to teach him the losing lesson. It’s not a matter of laziness where this lesson is concerned. It’s mostly the fact that we barely survive some days avoiding the natural temper tantrums and fights that I’m not sure I have the strength to walk directly into the lion’s den for this subject. What’s a girl supposed to do when her son is insanely competitive to the point of nausea?