image by Julio Reis

I have a little six year old son.  Let’s call him Leo. And Leo is learning about life. Leo cannot seem to understand why he can’t win everything.

Now our funky little Leo has had it good. He crawled at four months, walked at ten and spoke pig latin when he was 12 months (well, almost! – he was a good talker!). Then came along little sister. Let’s call her Bunny. Now, Bunny is a different kettle of fish, as they say. Bunny is full of ‘get-up-and-go’. She knows what she likes and when she would like it. She knows how to assert herself and often forgets to do this softly. My, they make an interesting pair!

When Bunny came into the world, Leo had to learn to share: toys, parent time, attention, movie choice and air! Sibling rivalry was born in our house that fateful and fantastic day. I must say that it hasn’t been too bad yet. They kind of have an understanding… of sorts. Until it gets too much for one of them and … BOOM! Meltdown.

Now that Leo is a fully fledged schoolboy, he is learning about winning and losing. He would be awesome at sport but is afraid to sign up as he may lose or fail. Dag-nabbit! How to teach a boy to try? And so it is with boardgames. His favourite is Star Wars Guess Who and for a while there he was kicking butt all over the place. Then came the day he lost. And there were tears, low dragging lips and a high pitched shriek!

My task now, as mother and teacher, is to win a lot more. Time to stock up on boardgames, time to get old Leo into sport, time to let him face his fears and embrace failure. I hate this part of parenthood. Why can’t they just all be winners? Because they can’t and that’s just life!

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