Why My Son Cried When He Won the Game

whiningIt was nearly bedtime and we were playing a family card game. My 3 year old was tired and his behavior was flaring. Everything was wrong for him.

“I don’t want that card…I don’t want to sit next to Mama…I want it to be my turn”, he whined. He was finding it hard to sit still. We pushed on, playing the final round of the game.

“You’ve won” we all exclaimed, hoping that might cheer him up. But instead, he burst into tears and angrily exclaimed, “BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO WIN!”

I held back the desire to laugh (whoever heard of a child not wanting to win?!) I stayed close and listened to him. He was mightily cross and kept saying over and over again, “I didn’t want to win,” with tears rolling down his cheeks. Every now and again I’d say, “I know you didn’t,” which would bring another wave of upset.  After about ten minutes he stopped crying and cuddled with me.

“Can I go to bed now?” he asked softly.

We got through our bedtime routine easily and he fell asleep quickly. I suspect if I’d distracted him away from his upset, going to bed would have been a struggle.

This was such a wonderful illustration for me about how children use small pretexts to release hurts. My son was waving a big red flag with his whining and offtrack behavior, showing us that he had upsets bubbling inside. And even though I didn’t respond to his signals, he smartly used the fact he had won the game to shed his emotional tension.

Rachel Schofield, Certified Instructor in Merimbula, Australia

2 thoughts on “Why My Son Cried When He Won the Game”

  1. Love this story, which beautifully illustrates how to accept and support a child through an emotionally turbulent episode.

    We all get like this sometimes don’t we? When there is an underlying emotion that needs to come out, and which dominates everything else going on for us at the time.

    By helping our kids get through it, they learn how to manage strong emotions as adults (at least, better than when they receive no help!). Which is a gift that will last the rest of their life.

  2. GD Star Ratingloading…i totally agree with you. to have a child as a taeenger is not the end of the world especially if that person has the necessary support from the parents or relatives. i have a friend that had an abortion when she was 17, now she is almost 22 and when she sees a child that is the same age as the one she would’ve had, it hurts her very badly.GD Star Ratingloading…

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