Are we gearing our children to disappointment?

I was playing dominos with my daughter and I let her win the first time and the second time she won by her own merit and the third time I won .

The first couple of times she was very happy and said “I won I won” and was very proud of herself and I cheered her on. Then the third time when I won I was shocked when she started BAWLING really really hard and said, “No you didn’t win. I want to win. I want to win”. I did not think I had to have the “it’s OK if you lose” talk at the tender age of 2 years and 8 months.

I told her: “Sweetie don’t cry because I won! you won a couple of times and I cheered you on and I was happy for you, so maybe you should be happy that I won too and cheer me on. Maybe next time you will win and if you do I will cheer you on and I will be happy for you. We win some and we lose some.”. Her crying broke my heart and I was tempted to let her win every time but then thought, no, in real life she will not win all the time and she needs to learn to deal with her feelings in a better way.

After this incident I started thinking to myself, Oh my God, unlike our and older generations; we only got scolded most of the time and barely got any good praise because if we did something right well, duh, that’s what was “excepted” from us. Where as with the new school of thought, you should give more positive reinforcement by praising your kids all the time so they have confidence in themselves and have good self esteem, and only scold them when it’s absolutely necessary.

Lots of people around me , all the moms and dads in my daughters daycare, constantly cheer thier kids on by saying, “what an amazing job you did” or “thanks for behaving” or “good job you went poopy in the potty” (yup parents do that) or “you are amazing” or “good sharing” or or or or .

Are we giving our kids way more positive attention than they need? Are we preparing our children to be totally shocked and disappointed once they start experiencing the “Real world”? Maybe when they go to school they will not be patted on the back after every single good thing they do, well I wasn’t, and they might start thinking “ What am I doing wrong? Why don’t people like me like my parents do? Why doesn’t the teacher say I did a good job?”.

I mean I am not saying don’t do it but I am saying maybe do it when they really do something good because you might be giving them over confidence? Should we give them more “tough love”?

What are your thoughts?

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14 Responses

  1. منّي منّك … كان بهالخمّاسي على وجهها وقومي انصرفي وله ..
    Now seriously, I was surprized by the way the west deal with thier 6 month old babies with all the talks and the junk. The baby doesn’t understand a word you’re saying lady, so don’t go on telling her we had an “Agreement” in the car that you’re not going to get candy! What a bunch of bull!

    I like the older school, praise when it’s due, and kick thier ass whenever you have a chance 🙂

  2. i was reading an article about this recently…it was saying about how too much praise is not good ..and then comparing the US with china. it was a good read.
    my son is a sore loser too…bas he is finally getting better at 5…i have not really played win/lose games with bilal..i think he is a month older than your daughter..

  3. not really sure how I’d tackle this if I had any children. But I’d probably go with the old school

  4. I think it should be a mix, but this problem arises when both the father and the mother are out there getting the money and the children are being raised by school, teachers, maids and friends..And by raised I mean influenced, if you do some math you will find that you spend more time working that with your child which will eventually lead to conflict..I don’t know it is a hard one, but I do like the way that my parents raised me and I would like to raise my children the same way, it is a mix of old school and the new school…The only thing that I am afraid about is me being too soft on them, because I LOVE children, but my wife is kinda tough so that will balance the issue:)

  5. Well, I’m not a parent yet but from dealing with my little brother I would say there is nothing wrong with it 7aki… actually he tries to do “more” good things so we would cheer up for him, he loves those “you did a good job” , “Bravo 3aleak”, “way to go”…. I guess kids will get disappointed so many time in real life, so why don’t we save those disappointments for later, let them face it the way we did, believe me they will be fine 🙂

  6. look dear.
    Although this is not my area of expertise, I can only say that I don’t prefer old school style. At same time, I’d not follow American and new ways of raising children.

    Its all about balance. As you said, she’s just 2 years and 8 months old. Maybe you can slowly turn her from a winner all the time to sometimes winning sometimes losing.

    But at this age, I guess they should have it all, enjoy it all, win it all, and conquer it all. Life will get tougher for them in the future. Let’s not raise them to life too early. Let them enjoy their childhoood.

    Just my humble opinion :$

  7. welllllllll

    sho bedoo ye7keee wa7ad zyee behaik mawdoo3:))))

    I have no kids o aanaa a’7er el 3an2ood so I dont know what to say exept I was raised by everyone in the family.

    now from my point of view according to what I see in young kids really they are over spoiled and they are out of control.

    there is a golden rule says if u learn ur child that his always winning then he ll think that he is always right and when he thinks he is always right he ll be stubborn as hell and out of ur parental control hala2 in west they dont care le2nooo ba3d el 17 be3ze2oo men el shobak daras daras ‘7alaf ma ‘7alaf etjwaz allah la yrodo ..bas 3ena e7na we care la7ad maybe el aber so difinitly our style in raising the kids should be diffrent le2noo fe3lan to make ur child obey u it needs a hell of an effort especially in the same age of ur child becoz this is the age where she/he shapes her/him character and if u try it after that it is like mission impossible..My brothers son was raised on the american style u always win and u always right what is the result he is five years old and stubborn like a rock u cant even convince him with almost anything and it is always my way wlaaaaa balem 3aleeko el denya besra’7eee so el nateejeh 6efel sa3eb jedan el say6arah 3alaih neha2eyan(taba3an howeh bedamoo el shaytaneh absar lameen tale3:) )

    so the result of this yes it is good to control and to show them they should loose sometimes..some tears r more good than a whole day laugh

  8. Q: lol lol lol, OMG I don’t know why this made me laugh LOTS…lol I can’t remember when was the last time I heard انصرفي وله I think it was at school once and you just gave me a post Idea :).

    Sam: Do you still have the link? I would be interested in reading it.

    See I never played these games before with her and I never excepted for her to be upset! But her best friends are boys and my God boys are so competitive. I saw 2 kids standing by the windows saying: “My dads car is fast” and the other would say “ no My dads car is faster he will win racing your dad”

    This incident was a while back my daughter is almost 3 now.

    Whosane: usually men go “old school” and women tend to be more compassionate. kinda balances things out.
    Bas moomken jiddan inno ilmarah tifkid a3sabha and itsarekh ihswaaaai izgheereh 3allah both daughter and husband because they have been “naughty” and that’s when husband needs to cool the situation ..lol…Daughter and husband imshabeeny man.

    Mohannad: Sa7 I think balance is the key. Enough praise to make them confident and enough tough love to make them feel responsibility for their action.

    Mai: You are absolutely right but when is praise too much praise, when do you know not to over do it?
    But I do agree with you. My daughter responds to me waaay better when I talk about how good she is. You can see it in her eyes, how proud she is of herself, when we praise her.

    Gosh. I wish I can protect her from hurt in the future. But I can’t ;(.

    Hamza: I can’t disagree with you or anybody for that matter because you are all right. Raisng kids is a combination of all the above you need ot do all that and more.

    But yes, 7aram shu bare2een ilatfal, so pure and love life and their parents with all their hearts.

    Tiger: 3indi i7sas innahoo your nephew tale3lak inta

    “bas 3ena e7na we care la7ad maybe el aber so definitely our style in raising the kids should be different le2noo fe3lan to make ur child obey u it needs a hell of an effort especially in the same age of ur child becoz this is the age where she/he shapes her/him character and if u try it after that it is like mission impossible”

    You are absolutely right, they say from day 1 to 6 years are the most crucial years in influencing you child to be good, also in terms of knowledge and education it’s a base because at this age they absorb everything good or bad

  9. Glad I’m providing inspiration … I also accept bribes, favors and gratuities 🙂

  10. its a good thing that we care so much abt our kids (or future kids for that matter) … ur a good parent 7aki …

    halla kids are not a device …u put certain input and a certain output will come out … so it doesnt really matter that much if u spoil ur kid too much or anything … ya3ne i’ve seen spoiled kids who turned out just fine ,,, and i’ve seen angel kids turned out bad … this is a human soul where there must be thousands of factors that affect it …

    i agree with maioush though … eno the dissapiontments are coming for sure ,,, but what u must give them is the sense that home is the place they can always go back to and talk to ya abt difficulties they have outside home and feel safe …

    its all abt 2 major things :

    1- teach u r kid abt responsiblity
    2- open a channel of comminiucation with ur kid …

    any other things will come along …

  11. I think that what you did is the right thing. To teach them that it is okay to loose.

    I don’t think that we should praise them less, in the contrary we should praise them more, like prasing them when they do recognize their mistakes, or when they don’t get mad when they fail in something, or when they laugh at their shortages. Know what I mean?

  12. It is very difficult to answer this question because it isn’t only how you raise your kids but it also is determined by their personality. I was absolutely spoilt by my parents, being the youngest, and I literally could get away with anything and get them to buy me anything I want. But el7amdella God gave me a brain at a young age and I was not selfish.. I had a strong sense of empathy and I did not ask for a lot and even rejected of what was given to me.

    Now that I am older, I do retain my sense of what is my right and what is too much. Unfortunately though, because I was too spoilt and protected I grew up naively and, to be blunt, I am now 22 and a lot of “standard” things in social life are just novel to me simply because I was not exposed enough and my skills at dealing with emotions are not well maintained yet. So now at 22 people find it funny how little things can make me upset, angry, jealous, or generally not happy simply because things are not going my way or the way I expect them to be. Of course, speaking in retrospective I am learning now and have gotten control over some parts of me but not entirely. I am learning the really hard way, at a really late stage when I am supposed to be well beyond that.

    What I am trying to say is each individual is a unique case, and, as long as your child is not in the teens yet, you still have plenty of time to see how she will grow and you can work on different methods along the way. Just remember that parents tend to treat their children in the way they wanted to be treated when they were children, and provide them what they were deprived, and this is where the vicious cycle comes into play. You as a mother need to try and control what you perceive is the right thing to do and what really is, because don’t forget that you are raising based on your experience. And while there is not a perfect or “right” way to raise a child, you have to make sure that you are raising a unique individual and not raising a person to fulfill your dreams or fill your void that you had when you were younger.

    Sorry for ranting this long 🙂

  13. 7aki check this out I posted specially for u:)

    http://kuweifi.blogspot.com/2007/04/some-answer-to-questions.html

  14. Isam: That makes lots of sense. If they don’t come to us first then it’s a problem they might be getting bad advice from friends or peers.

    I think because I learned responsibility at an early age it affected me positively because I always worked hard and learned I cannot get anything easily and never took things for granted.

    Observer: can’t disagree with you.

    KJ: See this is what I fear that I over shelter my daughter or future kids. I was by no means sheltered.

    You are right in terms of raising our kids based on our experience, I try my best to make my daughter self confident and not overly sensitive like I was ( And still too sensitve and it’s not good) all because of my mom, I saw my mom take care of my daughter and something clicked and I was like ,OMG this is why I was always super sensitive because this is how my mom raised me.

    Now in terms of living through my daughter, I am happy to know that I lived and living my life to the fullest and I fulfilled most goals and dreams that I set for my self hope that she gets the sense of adventure and responsibly from me and she see’s that the world has no limits and she should always aim high. I hope this affects her positively.

    It’s tough there are no wrong or right answers it all depends on the kid

    Tiger: I will check it :).

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