When playing games in your household, who wins? Do you hold back and allow the kids to win, or do you let all your skills shine? In today’s article, we’ll take a look at the most beneficial way to grow our families for long-term wins by being true to our self and our game.
A li’l story
Adults say I should go easier on their youngsters during playtime. By “going easier,” they mean I should dumb myself down and pretend that I am less skilled and let the child “win.” Although this can bring the temporary pleasure of seeing the child squeal with delight, I do not comply. Instead, I smile and say, “Your little sweetie just asked me to play, not to pretend.”
Is letting them win so bad?
I am an adult and I lead by example. If I let a child win, I’m showing him or her that it’s a good idea to: 1) lie 2) pretend that I’m not as smart as I am 3) salve the opponent’s ego and let that person win. Is this what we want to teach our children?
Even “harmless” forms of lying breed mistrust
Pretending to lose does not build trust and strength within a young person’s mind—or between a child and adults. If kids know that we’re willing to lie to them about a game, they might also wonder, “What else are we adults willing to lie about?” And if an entire group of adults all know that one adult is lying/pretending and they remain silent (holding the truth from the child), the child may always wonder if those closest to them are hiding things and not telling the truth. Worst case scenario, kids can grow into adults who wonder if they are actually loved by others, since they’ve been lied to by their families and aren’t sure what to believe.
Fake wins teach failure
How can any of us learn to succeed if we are applauded for failing?? In the case of playing a game with a child, when we fake their win, we teach them that in order to win, they should apply the exact techniques that just caused them to win. And, these are the exact techniques that will cause them to lose against a skilled opponent. When we do this consistently, we teach them that they are also entitled to win. Later, if they DO play against a skilled opponent who holds their ground and they lose, the child may be in some form of shock, and feel and express dramatic expressions that can range from sadness, depression, anger, pouting, crying and lashing out. As a coach of willpower and empowerment, I work with grown men and women who exhibit these qualities, which were cultivated in their upbringing.
Winning requires losing
Both children and adults learn to hone their abilities and prepare themselves for more advanced players and games by observing others as they perform well. In other words, the opportunity to play against a more skilled opponent and LOSE is a gift that allows us to learn and improve. Losing, learning and growing also cultivates lifelong character-traits like: humility, dedication, willpower, increased self-esteem and the happiness that comes from working toward a goal and achieving the win.
Gotta be “you” to be kind
Although at first, it may “seem” kind to allow others to win, we’re actually cheating ourselves of living to the fullest and cheating others out of rising to the occasion of growing to their fullness and honestly succeeding. By stepping in to be a hero and save someone from losing, we can deprive others of exactly what they need in order to become stronger as an individual and win big in the future.
We are the kindest to ourselves and each other when we honestly play to win, when we employ our skills and express our abilities to the fullest. When we do, our kids, spouses, parents, coworkers and others are able to see us living fully, without wondering whether we’re faking. By being our full self, we show others that this is possible for them and succeed as well. Just be kind … be YOU!
Are you willing to be YOU to be kind, and win when it’s warranted? Share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,