Tuesday, December 1, 2009

wfmw -- Intentional losing

There are only so many hours in a day. So,we obviously make choices. I like the reminder that whenever we choose to do something we simultaneously choose to not do hundreds of other things.

Well, one thing that I don't enjoy is playing certain board games. Now, I still treasure the time with my kids, the conversations peppered in throughout the time spent together, the smiles, the shared memories. But, the actual game. Hmmm.
Not my favorite pastime.

So, I sometimes intentionally lose. I might even stoop to reverse cheating.

"Are you sure it's my turn? Well, you can go ahead and take another one."

"I need to go check on ______ really quick, so go ahead and skip me this round."

"I'll sell you Boardwalk for a dollar."

Now, some games I do enjoy, and other activities with my kids I enjoy more (like reading books outloud, going on nature walks, or enjoying a good meal together). So, we still get lots of quality time together, but when it comes to certain board games, I'd rather rush it along. Plus, when you have multiple kids asking to play multiple games, you need to keep things moving, so I'm willing to take one for, uh, the team.

Intentional losing really has worked for me.

I guess this is also a good reminder, that what works for one person, might just not work for another. We all have our own love languages, preferences, and opinions. So, I'll keep playing those games, but I can't promise that I won't at least occasionally "help" them along.


Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

This is an idea I've really struggled with. Right now it's just me and my 4-y-o playing games; his younger sibs are nowhere near ready. He's not a very good loser, and I don't care if I lose...but then again, I know he's got to learn to be a good sport. So I find myself gnashing my teeth and helping him by pointing out the moves he isn't seeing. I *totally* sympathize with not wanting to play games! LOL Though for me, it's tea parties and castle and transformers.

5intow said...

You bring up and important point, that I should have mentioned. Kids do need to learn how to lose. Fortunately, my kids have each other to teach them that skill, and I am still on hand to facilitate the learning. And, they have other more competitive relatives (including my husband and some of their grandparents) that have given them opportunity for losses as well.

Sounds like a whole 'nother post, on teaching good sportsmanship. Even if they don't learn it when they are young, when they get into organized sports it is definitely part of the game.

Thanks for highlighting that important issue!

'Becca said...

I don't do intentional losing as such, but when playing with my 4-year-old I often relax about strategy and just make the first move I see instead of looking for the best move. Also, for some games that are really above his level, I don't hold him to the more difficult rules but I follow those rules myself. For example, in Bohnanza you are not supposed to sort the cards in your hand but keep them in the order you drew them; I keep my hand in order but let him hold and use his however he wants. Click my name for more about playing games with my kid.

I like games. What I don't want to play is trains!