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How to get someone to be less hard on themselves?

Question:

hi all,
dd1 is very competitive and hard on herself. She can't understand that she can't win everything, and just because she didn't win doesn't mean she was very good. For example she was in the feis here and she did very well but didn't get a cert or medal ...but she was very good imo.
Anyway she was fine until she realised there were prizes, she has cried every since and is devastated. I can understand how she feels as I am the same, I always feel it is a reflection on me if I don't win..daft I know. I have got over it in time but wouldn't enter any competitions as a result (say even the Limerick competition, I wouldn't be able to enter as I would be full sure I would loose and would hate that!!).
So how do you over come this? Can you change this part of your personality. I hate being like this and don't want dd1 to be like this all through life if I can help her.
We praise her, tell her she is great etc but still she feels like a failure.
So what would you do? Any ideas?
thanks, L
Answers:
tough one lumpy.
my first thought is that she should just get used to it. instead of avoiding the comps, would you enter in as many as possible, on the likes of pigsback or the little postcard question in newspapers/magazines. Perhaps you should enter each as well for moral support, and then commiserate with each other when you don't win. Then when one of you does win you can celebrate.
As for races etc with other kids, it may be useful to organise something with a 1st 2nd and 3rd but also give spot prizes for 'best dressed sprinter' or whatever. Honestly we all need to learn to lose, and it does make winning all the more exciting...
Answers:
I've had this situation too...
Ity's hard alright, but we found thhings changed for the better when the message went in that:
There will ALWAYS be someone quicker than you, and slower than you.
Better at maths, worse at spelling, funnier in groups, happier alone, someone will always be taller and shorter.
You might win once, or twice, or a hundred times...but not always, against everyone,
and that's how it's meant to be, because we all have different strengths and weaknesses, talents and flaws.
There is one exception... you will ALWAYS be the very best...at being you.
No-one can beat you at that, no one can take it away,
and you are loved and cherished more than any prize or any medal or accolade, BECAUSE you are you.
Answers:
thanks girls.
chickabee thats what I have been trying to tell her but you put it so well, I will steal your words if you don't mind.
Maid upname I think she might be fine entering competitions like cards you send off etc, its the taking part in something and then not winning that upsets her. Maybe she is still so young though, as she gets older it might get easier. I would love to be like dh, he couldn't care less what others think of him .
Dh's niece would be very hard on herself (she is nearly a grown up now) and it has affected her bigtime. I won't go into it as her story is not mine to tell but I don't want dd1 to go the same way and i see similar traits in them.
So I want to encourage her to do her best but also bring her into the reality that she can't always win. I think in my case I just don't want people to think I am useless at something so I just don't take part!! Silly I know but it all stems from knocks in competitions when I was young. Am I making sense?
Answers:
The other thing you can look out for is congratulating her for being involved, participating etc and not only when she has won. Also encouraging her to congratulate others for doing well allows you to acknowledge how well she handling it too. (I read all this somewhere ).
Answers:
I was reading Dr Suess 'Oh the places you can go' to DS1 last night. It's a great story, very philosophical, I think a lot of it went over DS1's head. It might be a good read for your DD1.
On the Feis, was that her first one? I spent years going to Feiseanna as a child/teenager and after competing in 3 or 4, you get the hang of what the adjudicator is looking for and they become great fun! I know it's a bit of a cliche, but it's the taking part that matters and will do wonders for her self confidence and public speaking.
But the disappointment can be hard too, so hope she is back to herself soon.

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