5 year old hates to lose!
I've read a bunch of online tips and parenting blogs, but would like to hear from parents here.
My son is an only child, a little over 5 years old, and has been home with us for basically the whole last year. Prior to COVID, he was in a preschool for about 9 months. He is VERY strong willed ("spirited" as some would say) but also someone who is 95% of the time a joy to be around.
He absolutely HATES to lose!
If we're on the floor racing toy cars, he has to win. Playing Tic Tac Toe, if he loses, he crumbles up the paper and throws the pencils. Swimming and chasing, if he doesn't get there first, he screams or yells and we have to leave. Telling a story where I make up characters and he's in the story as well, his character has to win. You get the idea. For the record, I don't let him always win.
I've tried to tell him that if another little friend always has to lose, then nobody will want to play with him. He'll say then he doesn't want to play with anyone. This makes me sad, because with COVID, he's not played with any little friends in so long. I've tried to say I don't want to play with him if he throws stuff/tantrum when he doesn't win. He'll say fine, he will play by himself. Again, it's really sad, because my partner and I are all our son has. I tell him it's ok to lose, you can win another time. He sort of understands that conceptually, but he has no desire to apply it in real life. I tell him, if someone else wins, you say "good job" and try harder next time. Again, he understands, but only with much reinforcement does he remember to say it once or twice, and then he'll insist on winning again.
What are some other ways I can get through to him? I'm especially interested in stories/methods that are recent and post-covid. I feel like had his socialization and preschooling not been interrupted by this darned pandemic, he would've learned how to play with others and how to lose gracefully. But now it's just our little family and losing is just such a foreign concept that he refuses to accept.