Teaching Good Sportsmanship

Teaching Good Sportsmanship February 11, 2014

Over the weekend, the Cub Scouts hosted their annual Pinewood Derby, an event which features homemade wooden cars that race down a track at breakneck speed in the elementary school cafeteria. This was our fourth Pinewood Derby for our son, and even the girls participated this year by making their own cars and racing them in the “semi-pro” division. Good times. Well, I’m not sure if it was the long day spent at the Derby, the high hopes for a winning car, an intense personality, or a combination of all of the above, but a certain 6 year-old could not handle the fact that she did not win a trophy! “But my car won one of the races, Mommy!” she cried in frustration. After trying to calmly explain, over her loud sobs, how the scoring process works, I moved into full-on “If this is how you act after a competition, we won’t be able to participate in these events anymore” mode. Not helpful at that particular moment in time.

In any case, this is not the first time that I have seen this type of behavior from my competitive child, but I was still taken aback. What’s worse is that I still don’t feel like I have been able to get through to her in our follow-up conversations. I have tried to explain that it is important to behave graciously after a competition, whether you win or lose, and whether you were playing a board game, a soccer game, or competing in the Pinewood Derby. I understand that this is partially an issue of maturity and temperament, but I would like to prevent this type of behavior in the future. I would love any thoughts and suggestions, please!

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

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