Jan 102014
 

When playing a board game or sports with your children, do you always let them win or do you play by the rules? I always let my son win but it’s not what you think.

My son, now 4, loves playing hockey and soccer in our kitchen. He’s always asking to play Sorry!, Skip-Bo, Uno or Jenga and is seriously good at all of it.

I’ve never really known the “right” thing to do when it comes to this but realized quickly. I never want to hurt my son’s feelings, he’s who I spend my days with and a person I love dearly but I’m a competitor. I can’t let him win, I try my darndest to score the winning goal or keep the tower standing. And his cries are heartbreaking when it doesn’t go his way.

But when I win I don’t say he loses and correct him if he says he did. And if I lose, I won because I had a blast playing with my son and I think in letting him lose, despite the tears, he’ll win in the end.

He’ll win because he’ll get used to the game not always going his way. It strengthens his resolve to try harder to win the next time and, most importantly, he learns the importance of winning by playing instead of playing to win.

So yes, I let my son win each and every day and I win in doing so.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland
author of Sending You Sammy, Brain Tales – Volume One and Arm Farm

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