Blog 2 of 4: Learning How To Lose

September 19, 2017

We all lose in life so it's important we learn how from a young age. It's a law we are all governed by and it' shown to us by nature. A Lion loses 9 out of 10 hunts in the wild.Nature has so much to teach us if we are willing to look and learn as they are constantly testing and working with the natural laws we are all governed by. That's why I love combat sports so much because it just delivers hard truths in your weaknesses and your strengths. No matter how much you want to hide from it you are forced to face loss and challenges, weaknesses and difficult positions. From that we learn how to self assess and get out of those difficult positions in a controlled environment. If I give up my back I'm getting choked and if I drop my hand I'm getting punched. Guess what though if I don't pay my bills I'll lose so that lesson goes everywhere in every area in your life. If I continue to make the same mistakes then I lose at life.


I played a game with the kids at Little Gladiators with winners and losers. Tears went into full flow and I felt pretty bad. Some parents weren't happy as their little one was sad and that's tough for any parent.


That being said though we can teach our little one how to come back from that. Show them how to come back from adversity by facing weaknesses and being critical in a constructive manner with the goal of winning next time. It's a life skill which is crucial because, if we have never been shown how to deal with failure then how can we expect to learn success. I'm ok with kids losing because everyone isn't a winner we all face challenging times in life and competition is playing with that law and learning from it. Trust me I know how to lose more than most people but I also know how to come back from it and win.



I'm going to give a few tips:


1. When your kid falls don't get upset  try acting like nothing has happened, gauge the situation and watch them look at you while they check out your response. This is tough but remember you won't always be there to pick them up when they fall. That being said if it's serious then offer support. Kids normally react to you so if they look at you and see something is up they will cry. You show them what they are experiencing is pain and here's how we get up and here's how we continue to walk. Be sensible though and make sure they aren't injured. Obviously if you feel they are injured seek medical advice. It's ok to get them ice cream if they break a finger for example but composure is king as it helps them deal with the situation and you are also showing them how to behave in difficult situations as you are the teacher of life.


2.Play a game. Win. Beat them at the game and don't let them win. When they lose explain to them the reason why they lost and what strategy you implemented to beat them. Ask them if they understand and then ask them to implement that strategy against you. Now this might be the point you let them win because they need to see what you are saying works. Letting your kid win all the time doesn't work. It just creates bad losers and I know because I have made this mistake. Just make sure there's method in letting them win and letting them lose. Too much of anything is never good. Balance is key. My son and I have many games we play and my son is genuinely beating me now at 9 years old. Just to be clear this doesn't mean computer games. This is about reality.


3.Teach your child that losing is part of life. We all lose stuff and some things are much more valuable than others because someday they will face the biggest challenge anyone ever faces and that's losing a parent and that's when we won't be there. The only thing that is left is the lessons learned and the memories you created together. Those should be cherished like nothing else. The only transaction you need to make is spending your time wisely making sure the quality of that time is reaching it's full potential. 


Kids learn through playing just like animals but they also learn from mentorship and leadership through lessons learned from previous generations. They should only make their own mistakes and learn from yours not repeat them. Pass on your knowledge. Schools are there to teach academics it's our duty as parents to teach them how to play the game of life. Create small "sparring matches" in the form of games allowing them to explore the laws they are governed by.


The way we design our Little Gladiators program is to allow kids to lose and fall in a controlled environment. Letting them make mistakes and offering solutions when they happen. Facing difficult social situations, falling on our mats, slipping on obstacle courses, bumping into another kid, overcoming self doubt and problem solving.




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