Sore Loser – The Sequel

Over a year ago, I wrote a post about Athos and sore loser syndrome.

Well it’s happening again, this time with Porthos. His favourite game right now is Junior Scrabble, not least because he’s won every time we’ve played it. Beginner’s luck came to an end this afternoon, and Porthos was dealt a few bad hands. According to the rules, he was obliged to put down his letters even though it helps someone else to get points. But he kept saying, “I pass,” and refused to move.

The first time it happened I confess I took the easy way out and just exchanged letters with him to help him along. But experience is a good teacher and like Athos, I realised that Porthos was going to have to come to terms with losing sooner or later, and better he learns how to lose with me first.

So, as we say in Singapore, I “don’t give chance”. The next time Porthos got a bad hand and said “I pass”, I told him if he didn’t play by the rules, I would stop playing. And so I did. I went to another room and started doing something else. A few minutes later, Porthos came into the room and said, “OK it’s your turn.” I went back and saw that he had decided to go along with the rules after all.

When we finished the game, he had lost 11 to 8. He stomped out of the room and sat in the balcony for a while. I decided to withhold the parental sermon and let him be.

And so it goes, and so it goes….

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3 responses to “Sore Loser – The Sequel

  1. P. is acting through to his human nature. The instinct not to lose is in built. It can become a weakness as well as a strength. Important thing is that he will need to learn that the quality of his character can be revealed both in defeat as well as in victory. As Winston Churchill said, “In war, courage; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; in peace, goodwill.” Excellent learning and character-developing opportunities each day brings to all of us.

  2. My sister used to cry whenever she lost in Monopoly but that was of course years ago when we were still in Primary School.

    I guess in truth nobody likes to lose but it is important that we learn how to lose graciously.

    Honestly I am struggling with that myself sometimes too.

  3. Porthos and I played “pick up sticks” last Sunday and I’d say “it’s your turn” even though there were a couple of sticks I could have taken. Porthos asked me why I let him win – maybe next time, I should play by the rules.

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