Competitive nature playing games

Bit of a random one from me today but something I’ve really noticed over the Easter holiday….

i’m wondering if someone can direct me to a specific resource within the course or website that will address my son’s very competitive nature and help me find strategies.

He loves to play games but he hates to lose and tries to control and manipulate games so he wins. Sometimes I manage it so that he wins, but I also try and enforce times when we play by the rules and give everyone a chance to win. This always causes a meltdown.

Any ideas or support with this would be appreciated :pray:

1 Like

Hi @Mumof1, this is a super tricky one and something a lot of our parents experience with their children.

It can help to play a lot of cooperative games where this isn’t a clear winner or loser to help them build more frustration tolerance.

In our house, we have a family card game called Bandido where you have to work as a team to block off escape tunnels to stop the bandit getting away. It’s really fun and encourages teamwork as opposed to having a singular winner.

If you do play a game that has a winner and he is getting upset about the way a game is going, you can give him the option to walk away.

Good luck @Mumof1 :yellow_heart:


This is the reason Uno is banned in our house :joy::joy:

Bandido looks like a fab recommendation - will check it out. Thanks @Community_Manager :star2:


Thanks for the recommendation @Community_Manager. I’ll have a look at that game. We had an almighty meltdown yesterday because he wanted to play monopoly. I resisted at first as I knew what would happen but he kept asking so I said we could but only if we played calmly and kindly. He agreed but then landed on one of my properties and just flipped. It makes me so sad and also frustrated as would love to play more board games with him, but it always ends in disaster :cry:


Sorry to hear that @Mumof1. We’ve been through this also and if I’m being honest, we just had to leave the board games alone until he grew out of having meltdowns when losing. Not sure avoiding them completely is the right approach and I’m sure the experts will have some better advice but I just couldn’t face the drama that board games caused :confused:


Hi @Mumof1 thank you for sharing your frustration and worries about your son’s difficulties with losing. Being competitive and wanting to do well is a great attribute in so many ways, but they still need to experience small failures or losing and to learn to experience it as not as a disaster, injustice or slight to his abilities! Being an only child may also make it harder for him to learn to lose and get over it. Siblings might push back at times , where you might have let him lose? Not a nice experience, but part of growing up. Protecting him from frustration is probably not the solution.
I worry that avoiding situations where he gets upset and has a melt down means he misses a learning opportunity?
Perhaps instead of letting him win more , play the game so its roughly equal and accept that he may have a melt down. Be sympathetic, then when he settles, acknowledge that its upsetting to loose and that it can make you feel bad. But also share that its OK to lose, talk about that feels, share times when you failed. And crucially, look for times when he is losing but still keeping it together ‘that’s so frustrating when that happens!’ or ‘you are being so patient/calm, well done’ and dont give him alot of attention for a drama over losing. Giving him opportunities to lose or fail occasionally and learn to do so gracefully takes practice . so celebrate improvements!
And model losing yourself too ‘Oh Noooo, I thought i was smashing it, then I lost!!!. Oh well next time i might try a different strategy. But well done for winning.’
these things take patience, time and perseverance! You are well on the way already and hope some of this helps.
Our children , now adults played RISK , where boards were overturned, disputes had, and sometimes tears!


Thank you so much @Dr_Clare_Bailey. Really appreciate your advice and you’re absolutely right, I am trying to avoid the meltdown as purely from a selfish perspective, I find them so hard to deal with.

You’ve given me some great strategies to try out this weekend with him so can put it all into practice.

Thanks again!