Do you let your older kid (6-9 yr old) win at games? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you let your older kid (6-9 yr old) win at games?
Yes - often (more than 50% of the time) 2 5.88%
yes - sometimes (20-50% of the time) 6 17.65%
rarely 1-19% 9 26.47%
never 14 41.18%
other - please explain 3 8.82%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you let your older kid (6-9 yr old) win at games - such as board games?  Assume you are playing alone with them - so there is no sibling to rant about unfairness.

 

Poll time!  Please explain why you do as you do.

 

I would say I let my youngest win about 1/4 of the time.  I try to arrange the games so we are equal players (example - if we are playing a word game like boggle, she is allowed 2 letter words while I am not) but that is not always possible.  

 

I do like her to win occasionally as I think it encourages her (I remember playing games as a child where all I did was lose and it was very discouraging).

 

I play to the best of my abilities most of the time as it is important to learn how to lose graciously, but also to learn that experience and practice does help.

 

 

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Old 08-04-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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I had to vote other.  I don't let my children win (they are 11, 9 and 7), but I do narrate what my strategy is as I am playing and in the beginnings of their playing a new game (I especially did this with chess), if I notice a mistake I'll say "take a look at that move again and see if it makes sense".  I sometimes also ask them to verbalize their strategy.  Once they're comfortable, we all verbalize less, and if they get good enough, I stop warning them to look again.   I also sometimes pair the stronger player at a game with a weaker player for a two against two game or with the stronger player mentoring.  And we make sure to mix up the types of games (word games, cards, strategy, spatial) to allow for all of us to have a go at being the strongest (I am actually not always the strongest - my seven year old is now a better chess player than any of us than DH, who had a similar childhood chess knack).


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Old 08-05-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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Yes, I'd let them win, however more often with a 6 y.o. than a 9 y.o. It's been a while since my dc were in that age group, so I'm going on memory here. 

 

I'm sure there are all sorts of sound psychological developmental arguments against letting them win too often. If I had a kid who was obsessed with winning and had extreme reactions to losing, I'd probably take a different approach about it. If it was a problem, most likely I'd start with playing more non-competitive games (which we often did, too).  

 

 

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Old 08-05-2011, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

 If I had a kid who was obsessed with winning and had extreme reactions to losing, I'd probably take a different approach about it. If it was a problem, most likely I'd start with playing more non-competitive games (which we often did, too).  

 

 

OT:  you have described older daughter (12).  I will likely do a spin off on it!

 

Edited to add:  I have 3 kids, only one has difficulty with losing, and i think it is more to perfectionism and "having to be the best at everything" rather than because I let her win say 25% of the time when she was younger.

 

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Old 08-05-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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My DS is 7 and we do love games, but I avoid letting him win. There seem to be 3 types of games we play. Cooperative ones where everyone helps each other get the to the end -  winning isn't as fun as the journey or defeating a common obstacle. Competitive games that rely on luck more than strategy - this is pretty much an even playing field and I try to explain that at the beginning. We tend to not like these types as they get old fast.

 

And competitive games that are all strategy - with these types there are loads of learning and mastery that can happen. I generally even the playing field by first not playing to the death as a would with DH hahaha. And making the game harder for me or offering help to DS if he asks. He has no problems asking for help or advise or offering to help me if he sees me getting behind.

 

I believe playing cooperative games has helped our general game enjoyment and toned down the overly competitivness to "beat the other players".

 

Here are some games we love: WildCraft, Jr Monopoly, Connect Four, Lego Minotaurus, Blockus, The Amazing Labyrinth, Into the Forrest, Max the Cat, The Garden Game, Scrabble and Memory match.

 

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:28 PM
 
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Let me tell you the story of a boy I know whose parents let him win. Oh wait, not a long story, now that I think about it, so I won't bother. He expects to be allowed to win, even when he's playing with other kids who would also like to win. It drives every other kid crazy, and no one likes to play with him. I don't want my daughter to think she's entitled to always win, I don't want her to be a bad sport with other kids, and I don't want her to get that competitive, where winning is the most important part of the game, so we just play and whoever wins wins.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Let me tell you the story of a boy I know whose parents let him win. Oh wait, not a long story, now that I think about it, so I won't bother. He expects to be allowed to win, even when he's playing with other kids who would also like to win. It drives every other kid crazy, and no one likes to play with him. I don't want my daughter to think she's entitled to always win, I don't want her to be a bad sport with other kids, and I don't want her to get that competitive, where winning is the most important part of the game, so we just play and whoever wins wins.


You don't almost always win by virtue of age with games like chess or Scrabble?  

 

She is Ok with that - she doesn't become frustrated from losing all.the.time  (of course it is good to loose some of the time!)?

 

 

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Old 08-05-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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She doesn't get frustrated if she seldom to never wins against my husband or myself, but she usually plays against other kids. She isn't competitive at all.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:48 PM
 
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I voted rarely... it depends what we're playing. If it's something like Memory or Battleship, I try my hardest because otherwise they'll totally skunk me. If it's a game like Kadoo or Sorry, I out in a reasonable effort but prolong the game by not always making the best move for myself... but I give the reason that I'm still having fun, and want the game to last longer. I don't think there's anything wrong with them know ing that I could have won, but having fun is more important to me. When they were younger, I used to let them win... like, if we were playing Go Fish, I'd leave my cards face up and go get a drink, or 'accidentally' drop them... but they're too smart and see through tricks like that now.


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Old 08-05-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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Sometimes -- I don't want to teach my kids that they're entitled to win, but it's no fun to play if they lose all the time.


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Old 08-05-2011, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have any good recommendations for co-operative (preferably easy-to-find) games?

 

TIA!

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Old 08-05-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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I never let ds win, but he sometimes wins anyways. But I don't play to the best of my abilities. I don't make mistakes intentionally, but if I can chose between two moves, I always chose the one less advantageous for me.

 

I remember my dad letting me win, at first I was super happy, then I felt disappointed and lied to.


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Old 08-05-2011, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

I never let ds win, but he sometimes wins anyways. But I don't play to the best of my abilities. I don't make mistakes intentionally, but if I can chose between two moves, I always chose the one less advantageous for me.

 


I am not sure how this is not letting someone win.  headscratch.gif

 

I never deliberately make mistakes either, but I do a bunch of things to level the playing field, and sometimes it does a feel like letting someone win.  

 

 

 

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:01 PM
 
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Sometimes.
Usually it is just not trying as hard as I could or ignoring an occasional opportunity or giving dd a hint or a good move rather than totally throwing the game.

I do think it is discouraging to play a game with someone who is older and much better at games and always lose. I don't think there is a great deal of pleasure in someone obviously losing on purpose always either though. I want dd to enjoy playing games as a family activity. "Sometimes I win and sometimes I don't" is the lesson I want her to have. I want her to see dh and I handle our wins and losses graciously.

 

 

 


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Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Anyone have any good recommendations for co-operative (preferably easy-to-find) games?

 

TIA!


 

Kadoo has some cooperation... part of the game is cards with pictionary/ charades/ or make something with playdoh and everyone guesses. The person who guesses gets to put a piece on the board with the person who draws or whatever. You have to get 4 pieces in a row to win, and some of the cards you do by yourself, so a very competitive kid might still get caught up in that. 

 


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Old 08-05-2011, 10:49 PM
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If it's something hard like Scrabble........I'll help ds (9) with words.  That's not the same as letting him win, though.  At chess, he beats me 50% of the time, fair and square, without me helping him at all. 


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Old 08-06-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post




I am not sure how this is not letting someone win.  headscratch.gif

 

 

 

 

 



Because sometimes I still win, even if I don't play to the best of my abilities. :)

 

 

I see letting a child win as deliberately making mistakes to let him win. For example, ds's grandma "forgets" it's her turn, or doesn't count properly, and lets him win every time.

 

But you know your child best, and you know what's best for him/her. Ds has some issues with always winning, or being first, so I try to balance his perspective a bit, without descouraging him.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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I must be the only one that doesn't have to try to lose...lol. Seriously, my kids beat me most of the time....because they are better than me at the game. :)


Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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Old 08-06-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Anyone have any good recommendations for co-operative (preferably easy-to-find) games?

 

TIA!


Our favorite cooperative game is actually Dungeons and Dragons.  Because DH is being referee and story teller as the Dungeon Master, we get to control the content and overall flavor of the game.  The children's characters work together as a party to overcome the obstacles in the story line.

 

Family Pastimes has a lot of lovely cooperative board games for ages from 4 to adult.  My children loved Harvest Time when they were little, and there are game themes ranging from forest, traveling, farms,  animals, fantasy, etc.  They have a website and the games are also available in some educational supply stores and many Waldorf education supply stores.

 

Tangrams are fun to play cooperatively, as everyone works on the puzzle together to determine how the shapes are made.

 

We usually play Bananagrams competitively (it's like a free-form scrabble) but we sometimes also play it cooperatively by working together building up the intersecting words with the aim of using every tile piece if possible.  If you don't own Bananagrams, you can use your scrabble pieces off the board to do the same thing.

 


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Old 08-06-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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Our favorite games are bananagrams too, and apples to apples. We aren't competitive people at all. There is also some battleship, connect four, monopoly, a;nd various other games played. People often don't keep track of who wins, dont' care, or, in the case of monopoly, seldom even finish a game. LOL.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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No!  I have a sibling who was always allowed to win at games by family members and to this day she is a really bad sport if she doesn't.  Even when she wins, she gloats and is unpleasant and takes all the fun out of the game.  It really makes sense that she turned out this way since, how can someone be gracious at winning when they have never lost? 

 

I would rather teach my kids that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  I want them to know that it's all about how you play the game and it's great when you win but ok to lose. 

 

 

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Old 08-06-2011, 08:28 PM
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Some games of skill, like Set, my daughter could fairly beat me at by the time she was five... for others, at that age, if she was losing I would generally ask if she wanted me to not play as hard for a while, and let her win a bit, and I'd leave it up to her... sometimes she'd say yes, and sometimes no. Winning a game with a 6 year old never really mattered to me but for a while it did to her, so I didn't mind letting her win if she wanted.

By 9 she was pretty much past that, and we mostly played games that were a mix of skill and luck, and she did generally win a decent percentage of the time. So, it was good.

I still remember finding out that my grandpa had been throwing chess games against my brother (and by extension, I figured he was doing it against me). We were 11 and 9 and the time, and I felt really betrayed,

 
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:53 AM
 
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Never without acknowledging it. However, if she is frustrated I'll ask her if she wants me to play my hardest or not. It hasn't come up in a while. We do try to buy games with enough of a luck element so the kids have a chance.

I don't usually let the 3yo win, either, but I don't completely whomp him without mercy. He actually does beat me at Uno sometimes.

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Old 08-07-2011, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input, everyone.

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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I didn't vote because my ds is too young, but I have played with other children and what I like to do is to play at their level, but let them win each time. I do that by making it challenging but making a small mistake here or there that gives them an opportunity to win. If it's not challenging it's boring for them, and if it's too challenging it's absolutely frustrating. Children are constantly beat down by older adults sometimes that I like the chance to let them be the experts at things. They love it!

 

My dad relished the chance to beat me at a board game and I always hated him for it (he secretly felt stupid so he used me as a safe person to feel smart around, I think).

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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No, we follow the rules of the game but we choose games that my 6 year has a fair chance at winning.


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Old 08-07-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Anyone have any good recommendations for co-operative (preferably easy-to-find) games?

 

TIA!


Perhaps search at BoardGameGeek? I tried to use the search terms non-competitive and co-operative, and nothing turned up in the list of games, but there's a large forum there and you might find a discussion. 

 

I recall a bunch of games for young children such as Sleeping Grump and Harvest Time, but I don't think they'll work for your age group. We sometimes changed the rules of games to make them less competitive, more cooperative. For Scrabble, we'd all work with one player's letters and try to make the longest word, or the word with the least number of vowels, or only play words that are somehow related to each other. In Carcassone, we'd form strategic alliances and try to build the biggest city or farm together. Role playing games are good to encourage working together for a common goal. 

 

You have made me realize how long it's been since we played family games. We have a trip to the cottage at the end of the month, so I'll make sure to pack along a few.  

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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never, but I often lose anyway, LOL. 


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Old 08-07-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post

I must be the only one that doesn't have to try to lose...lol. Seriously, my kids beat me most of the time....because they are better than me at the game. :)



This made me laugh because we are the same way.  My dd is 9 and she's GOOD at games.  I do try to win.  Every time.  She wins more often than not.  I don't have to let her win because she does it on her own.  She's LUCKY, too!!  Games of chance, like Yahtzee, she seems to win, as well.

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Old 08-07-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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I'm guessing by "never" you mean you don't let them win if they didn't earn it.  In that case I might have voted "never" instead of "other".  When one plays chess and go with a player of lesser rank, you give them a handicap.  That way the playing field is leveled.  Other games are more random, and handicaps don't work the same way but you can eliminate a few rules in advance that make playing difficult.  The point is to level the playing field so both opponents are having to work as hard as they can.  A bit like a running race (which, actually, my 6yo can beat me most of the time) a parent could hop on one leg, or give the kid a 3 second head start or have them run a shorter distance.  This way every one competes to the best of their abilities.

     If I am confident the playing field is as level as can be, I have no qualms about winning.  If my daughter makes a bad decision, I might ask her if she wants to try again, but if she insists, well that's how you learn.  And if it ends up being as bad a move as I think then I tell her what went wrong.  DH is the better chess player, and every game is a teaching game.  

     So, yes, I guess "other" is the accurate vote for our family.  And we, too, love cooperative games but not in exclusion to competitive ones.  Good sportsmanship is expected absolutely in our house, or we don't play.


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