Letting kids win

Tonight, I spent an hour or more playing games with my kids. These opportunities don’t come around very often, with work, school, dance, etc. When we do have time to play, the kids usually want to play outside with friends, watch TV, or play Wii. Other times, I am busy working on Conferences, writing blogs, etc. I was grateful for the opportunity tonight!

We started out playing a card game similar to Old Maid. It had been in Grace’s Trick-or-Treat basket. After we played a game or two, Michael decided he wanted to join. We played a few more games, then switched to Connect 4. Michael told me that when he plays at his dad’s, they play so that when he loses, he gets “another chance.”

We played by the rules. My inclination was to let the kids win (or make it easy to win). I did somewhat when I played against Michael, but since his big sister was helping him, I really didn’t need to. Playing against Grace, I gradually played harder and harder. I forgot how much fun that game is! Finally, she asked me why I wasn’t “letting her win.” I told her I wanted her to learn how to strategize. I wanted her to learn to plan ahead, watch the whole board, and win on her own. After a few more games, I could see her starting to “get it.” It was so cool to watch her pick her moves carefully… It reminded me of when I was in 5th and 6th grade, and we’d play Connect 4 during winter recesses. I was never very good, but I sure liked to play! I’m glad to say, my strategy skills have increased since those days. I’m also very happy that Grace has far superior skills than I did at that age! She started beating me fair and square (though, I was still able to Mastermind a win or two)!

It was a Proud Mama moment! I am so glad I took the time to play with my kids tonight!!!

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