Saturday, March 1, 2014

Trying to teach him to be graceful when faced with disappointment

  Nixon got a Rescue Bots Beam Box for Christmas. It was his big gift from Mac and I. He loves it, really loves it, but he's not always great at dealing with not being good at one particular stage. Even though he has the option to not play this stage, he insists on playing it and getting frustrated every time he doesn't pass it.

   Today, as he playing it with his newest character he was getting more and more angry while on this one stage. I finally had enough of his outbursts Mac is sleeping because he worked last night and went to a comic signing this morning, and his constant turning on/off the game to get out of this stage. It was time to teach him the truth about life: No one is good at everything all the time.

me: Nixon, calm down. It's okay to not be good at one part of the game.
Nixon: But this one is so hard! I'm just not good at it.
me: Nixon it's okay. The important thing is you need to learn how to deal with disappointments like not being good at a part of the video game.
Nixon: It's not right. I'm just a screw-up.
*I hate that he says this when he's bad at something*
me: Nixon, you're not a screw-up. You just aren't great at this stage. You can either try harder to get better or stop playing it. What you need to do is accept disappointment with grace.
Nixon: I don't want to play anymore.
me: That's fine, you don't have to play. But you can't keep turning the game on and off just because you're not good at a part of it.
Nixon: Why not?
me: Because you aren't learning anything by doing that. You're just giving up to avoid the disappointment of not being the best at this stage.
You are so good at other parts of the game! It's okay to be less than perfect at one part. No one is good at everything all the time. I just don't want to see you giving up. Learn to deal with the disappointments in life.

He's not getting the concept of failures and disappointments easily, but I'm working on reminding him he doesn't (and won't) always be perfect. It's a tough lesson to learn, but I'm not raising him to believe he'll always win or be the best or that he has to be perfect at everything he does. All I ask is he does his best and completes the task he's working on.