In a world of the “every child is a winner” mentality, studies
might actually be showing that letting your child win every time could
do more harm than good. According to recent research, when a child wins
100% of the time he or she can develop confidence traits that hinder problem-solving
skills. The child can no longer identify helpful resources and can fail
to use proper problem-solving skills. Children that win all the time tend
to trust their own instincts, no matter how wrong, over helpful and accurate
Research Looks Favorably on Failure
Researchers took 112 children between the ages of four and five and separated
them into four different studies. In each study, the children were told
to find a hidden toy using a laptop game. Each child had two adults providing
them clues; one adult provided helpful clues and the other provided clues
that were unhelpful. Half the children were always rigged to find their
toy and the other half was rigged only to find their toy some of the time.
At the end of three of the studies, 73% of the losing children were able
to identify the helpful adult, but the winning children could only identify
the helpful adult 50% of the time. In the fourth study, the winning children
showed a higher interest in the helpful adult after losing only once.
What does this mean for our children?
It means that we need to let our kids lose. Letting them win all the time
doesn’t make them winners. In fact, it can cripple their ability
to identify helpful strategies, the usefulness of help from others, and
other vital problem-solving skills. Every parent wants their child to
be a winner, but being a loser could be more important.
Contact our Irvine divorce lawyers for more information about helping your children through a divorce or
other matters concerning the development of your children.