Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!


To let our kids win or to beat them heartlessly (aka Fair and Square)?  That is the question.

Now, mind you- I come from the school of “Not-Everyone-Deserves-A-Trophy-Just-For-Participating”.  I want my kids to be competitive, to have drive and to want to be their best.  However, my husband refers to our kids’ lack of effort as their “Give-a-crap-o-meter”.  When it comes to certain things, my kids just don’t care.  When it comes to school and grades- our daughter’s competitive meter runs extremely high.  When it comes to emptying the dishwasher- not so much.  Our son, on the other hand, has a competitive nature that is unparalleled.  For two minutes.  Until it’s clear he is not going to win at something.  Then he just gives up.  Someone must have been cheating.  Someone wasn’t playing fair.  It couldn’t possibly be that I am the Grand Master and High Priestess of Spoons, or that I can play Crazy 8s like a Boss.  Arms are then crossed.  Head is then dropped down with the scowl still evident on his wrinkled brow.  The boy hates losing.

For a while, when they were smaller, I would get so excited to see their joy in “beating me” at a game like Candyland.  Their proud squeals as they slid their little game pieces first into the Sorry “home row” filled me with delight.  Sure, I’ve been known to throw a game or two, but mainly in my earnest for the God forsaken game to just end already.  Apparently, I let that go on for far too long.  Do we help or hurt their self esteem by “playing left handed” or handicapping ourselves in some way?  Should I wipe their tears when I buy up all of the property and build hotels in Monopoly?  Where is the line?

Kids have to learn how to cope and maintain their positive sense of self when they come in second, or even last!

But here is where that stops.  No more taking a dive.  No more throwing the game.  No more sandbagging.

Will I occasionally question my resolve?  Of course?

But a card laid is a card played.


One thought on “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

  1. so what the hell happened? did someone take their finger off a checker only to change their mind and quadruple jump you to an embarrassing defeat as they shouted, “King Me Loser!” …and you want to, all of a sudden, become a stickler for “the rules?” did someone come into the room with a yo-yo and do Rock the Cradle in your face and then hand it to you and say, “let’s see you do THAT? had you just collapsed onto the couch and with the remote in your hand and some little voice says, “you said you’d play a game of War with me Mom?.” …. and you look at what they’re holding and it’s easily 4 decks of carefully shuffled cards. this really isn’t so bad and it does show the competitive spirit.

    what i’m hoping you get in spades is the proficiency display. do you know how many hours i stood there and watched you achieve the Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Black, Violet, Auburn, Cerise………. and finally the Psychedelic level in Ms. Packman? or, after showing you how to spin quarters, had to settle in for another 20 minute mind numbing display of tricks that you made up which were so past my capability that my pride in your achievement was eventually choked out by abysmal boredom.

    i can’t wait for Brady to confront you with, “come on mom, here’s a mitt, help me practice. i want to make the team and need you to catch my fast ball – at least ’til dad comes home.” (this, of course, turns into a ball shagging marathon – and when you are able to catch one of his barn burners, it’s only after it bounces off your chest or forehead and lands in your glove the ironic thing is that the “GREAT catch Mom.” is worth it… almost). i know because you and i played with the Frisbee a lot. you never did get that throw down but i loved the memories.


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