Competitive 4 year old

Sagamore Beach, MA
Follow

Competitive 4 year old

Whoa, our 4 year old is the most competitive little guy ever. Is this normal? In all seriousness, he HAS to win at everything from Candyland to running up the stairs first. He has a true freak out with tears and all if he doesn’t “win”. We don’t make anything a competition, and we always talk about how it’s “okay to not win” and to “be happy for the other person”. Any other experiences out there similar to ours?

Comments

  1. Hi Alexe, This is more common than you think. Lot’s of little ones, and big ones too, struggle with this form of perfectionism. I would encourage you to be consistent with how you handle these meltdowns. Until he learns to get a grasp on the disappointment that comes from losing, you may want to focus on activities with less competition. As he gets older he will gain more control of his expression of emotion. At his age it is ok to have a discussion as you are setting up the game. Tell him it is ok if you don’t win this round , explore options he can use if he finds himself getting upset (like take a deep breath, tell a joke, or walk away to cool down) and spell out the consequences that will be in place if he “freaks out”. Be consistent. Hang in there, it will likely pass as he gets older. Also, make sure everyone he is playing with is modeling good sportsmanship when they lose too.

    Reply Flag this comment
    1. Thank you so much for easing my mind a bit! We will take all of these tips and run with them! I hate seeing how upset he gets. I think the one we should really focus on is talking about his emotions before and during the set up of the game. Thank you!

      Flag this comment Reply

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.