Self-esteem,Psychology,Old maid (card game)

Let Kids Lose! Scientists Say It Helps Children Learn Better Judgment

December 26, 2016
in Kids

Letting kids win all the time has negative effects on how they perceive important information, new research says. KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Thinkstock Imagine playing a game of Old Maid with a child. She is about to pick the Old Maid card in your hand, which would cost her the game. You think about how excited she'd be if she won, so you hint that she might want to select another card. She does, and she wins. You're both happy. But was letting her win a wise move? Psychologists and child-rearing experts have long said kids need to lose once in a while. They claim that losing at games or sports helps children build coping skills, develop empathy and learn what the real world is like. Now, a new study out of Amherst College and the University of Virginia says intentionally throwing a game or challenge may result in children who can't effectively make judgments or read important information and cues. In the study, researchers conducted a series of trials where 4- and 5-year-olds (most of them from white, middle- and upper-class families) played a game with hidden objects. Two adults gave the kids clues to the location of the objects. One adult gave accurate clues, while the other gave false ones. Then, the researchers set up the game so that half of the kids always found the hidden object, no matter what the adults said. The remaining children played a game left to chance, where...

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