Family Game Night: Let The Kids Win or Clobber Them?
My kids are 10 and almost 8. It's on, now.
This revelation came a few years ago when The Ginger beat a video game that I couldn't get out of the first level. Yes, video games are different from board games, but if the kid could master 52 levels and perform the double slash upward thrust sideways ninja kick beheading move to kill the boss on video game where I couldn't figure out how to get out of the cave that the game began in... he could lose at Candy Land, damnit.
If you are a parent that hasn't made the transition to completely obliterating your children in board games, I suggest you do it... now. Not if your kids are two and four... that might be a little early to stand up and do the victory dance while yelling, "Yeah, Mom won -- EAT it!!" But if you have older kids (I'd say school age is perfect), then stop dropping dice on the floor, stop falsely reading the card you just drew to say that you need to go back to the beginning of the game, and start teaching your kids that they can't win at everything. A little competition is healthy.
Now, I'm not saying go out and buy the adult version of Trivial Pursuit and start asking the 7-year-old questions about the economy in the 1980s. Play age-appropriate games with them, but make them actually try at them. Get them thinking, get them motivated to legitimately beat Mom and Dad at something. If your kids are anything like mine, they'll try hard as hell to beat you, just to say they did.
Most importantly, though, do congratulate them on a great game played if you do beat them. While Hubby and I are super-competitive (I may or may not have thrown a chess board across the room when he beat me once, shortly after we got married), we do want to teach our kids good sportsmanship. So, tell the kids they did a great job, offer a rematch, then stand up and do your victory dance.
What's in store for us this upcoming Wednesday night? Depends on whose name gets drawn out of the hat. Hubby wants to play Star Wars Monopoly, but every game of Monopoly ends the same way -- with the board getting thrown across the room or someone falling asleep. I'd like to try my hand at beating the kids at a mystery game like Clue. Hubby says I cheat at that game though because I'm known for guessing a card that I already have in my hand, to throw everyone else off. He calls it cheating, I call it strategy.
What do y'all think? Is beating your kids at games a horrible parenting practice or a healthy developmental lesson? Put your two cents in below!!
~ Tatted Mom
The Inklings of Life
Photo Credit: anne-cathrine_nyberg.
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