I grew up with family game night, and the tradition continues with my own family. My husband, seven-year-old daughter and I enjoy all sorts of games from “trash” (our favorite card game) to Sorry (our favorite board game) to Start the Party (our favorite video game). But we have one important rule: we play to win.
Yes, that’s right. I make my kid play to win and I don’t “rig” a game to let her win. I’m sure there are parenting experts and psychiatrists who think I am too harsh and should let her win on occasion, and there are probably the same caliber of experts who think I’m doing the right thing. At the end of the day, I want to teach my kid how to play the game… and how to win and lose. I happily help her develop a game strategy, or explain a way to win, but I don’t sacrifice my game to “let” her win.
Oddly enough, she can hold her own, and more often than not, she beats me fair and square.
For example, we just recently purchased Clue, one of my all-time favorite board games. The Kid and I were a team, and we took on Daddy as our opponent. I walked her through the game, explained the objective and some basic strategies. The next day, she and I played each other - the first time she is playing this game by herself — and she beat me. Fair and square. She was so excited, and now we play that game all the time.
We also spend rainy afternoons playing PlayStation’s Start the Party, an interactive video game that uses a motion controller to play physical games where you pop balloons with a stick, catch balls with nets and scare away ghosts with flashlights. This game gets you up and moving, and you can see yourself on the TV, so it requires hand-eye coordination. This was a new kind of game for The Kid, so I didn’t want her to be frustrated and quit before she even started. So, I quickly learned to set her game-play level at “easy” and mine at “hard” to level the playing field. This allows her to win on occasion, but I can still show her that I am trying my hardest and she can honorably log a “W.”
This post was inspired by participation with the PlayStation Family, where amazing women share thoughts on kids, tech and games each month. While PlayStation is my client, these thoughts are mine and I did not receive compensation for writing this post. #PSFamily
Photo credit: Christmas Unwrapped