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Do you let your kids win?


Do you let your kids win when playing games?  

  1. 1. Do you let your kids win when playing games?

    • Yes, I purposely lose so they can win
      10
    • No, I play to win
      68
    • Sometimes
      156
    • Other
      10


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Or do you play to win when playing games with your kids? DH and I taught the kids how to play Spoons tonight and DH was hardcore. I would wait for the kids to notice that the spoons were being picked up and give them a chance to beat me which annoyed my DH. Am I too nice to take a dive on purpose?

Edited by lisamarie
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It depends on the child and how much encouragement they need to keep going. For my oldest two, yes I will often let them win a round or two of a new game. After that, they are going to have to honestly put some effort in if they want to have a chance at beating me. I'm finding that they are slowly getting good enough with many things to trounce me soundly though:tongue_smilie:. My youngest I rarely let win. He is HUGELY competitive and I find that he isn't satisfied unless he thinks he honestly won.

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Some games, they just will never win against us until they are older. Chess is one my husband plays, and while Nathan has come close to winning, he hasn't. My husband doesn't let him win anymore, but he was very easy on him for years.

 

The boys will never beat me at a word game until they are older, so if time is involved, I slow myself down. I find in games with time limits, I slow myself down to give them a chance.

 

If it's a random chance game, I don't let them win. It's random anyway.

 

Ben struggles with feeling defeated, so it's more important to me that he enjoy the game even if I have to help him. I really don't care about winning when I play with the kids. I try to focus on the fact that we're having a good time. If we play a trivia pursuit game, I will give hints. It's just no fun when one person answers all the questions.

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Depends on the age of the kid. I lost all games of Candyland and their ilk. :001_smile: I actually enjoyed losing all those silly games. It made their little two and three year old selves so darn happy that it was fun.

 

 

DH is really the game player, and both boys adore games. When DH was just introducing them into the world of older person games he would often let them win a couple times to let them get the hang of playing. Now it's not an issue. They have a very healthy relationship with competition and are very good winners and losers.

 

DH and the boys play games for hours.

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I voted "sometimes."

 

However, I do let my mom win. She and I have been playing Words with Friends for a couple of months and she gets really down on herself if she loses a lot. I could easily beat her by 150 points every single game but I orchestrate it so that she wins every third or fourth game. I also play so that many times when I do beat her it's only by 25 or 30 pts. I don't want it to be obvious to her that I'm throwing the game.

 

I'll tell you, it takes a lot of thinking to be that precise! :D

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I try to mix it up, because I don't want to set the expectation of always winning, and I want to model that it's not a big deal if you win or lose.

 

I have already explained to my 5 year old that it's one of the rules of Candyland that you fix the game so that the youngest person wins. She took it a lot better than I expected. I figured she'd wail about how that's not fair, or maybe tell me that fixing the game (aka cheating) was wrong... but instead she just thought about it for a moment and then asked if I could put her brother down for a nap so that it would just be her and me playing "and then I will win!"

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We don't let them win so much as help them strategize as the game progresses, until they can strategize on their own. Then, we play. I'm leading my 11yo by 100 points in a game of Words with Friends right now. She knows plenty of words, and can look at the board as well as I can. Beyond that, we're both constrained by what's already there and the letters we get.

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Depends on the age of the kid. I lost all games of Candyland and their ilk. :001_smile: I actually enjoyed losing all those silly games. It made their little two and three year old selves so darn happy that it was fun.

 

.

 

Exactly. My 2yo gets to win. :D. My 8yo has to earn it unless it is something that I will naturally cream him at like scrabble. Sometimes for those games we will play teams to even it out.

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The first few times, I talk them through it, so they learn what to look for and how to strategize. Sometimes, I remind them to think ahead to what happens next. After that, they just have to practice what I taught them to beat me.

My son prefers to really win and he would know if I was losing on purpose.

I can't beat him in Chinese checkers anymore and that was one of my faves. :)

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Sometimes I ask my kids what level they want me to play at: Easy, hard, random...

 

But what we talk about is making an objective for the game. For example, "I want to purchase 1 ten dollar building". Or "I don't want any of my people to starve".

 

We do play lots of games here, so yes I do take it easy on them sometimes. In one game I was the "Evil Over-lord" and I just had so much trouble killing youngest when he looked at me with his sad little eyes. But I do point out when I am taking it easy on them.

 

I also think one thing that affects someone answer is the age of the kids, and how often you play games, and what type of games you play.

 

I have been keeping track for the Family Million Minute Challenge and this month one or both boys have participated in the following games: (The number is how many minutes the game took to play, setup and clean up time not included.)

 

King of Tokyo 25

Roll Through the Ages 20

Munchkin 15

Quarriors 25

Citadels 20

War (card game) 15

Pass the Pigs 15

Pass the Pigs 15

Magician's Kitchen 15

Lancaster 40

Descent the 2nd Edition 60

Descent the 2nd Edition 70

Zombies (Connor rules) 120

Quarriors 25

Quarriors 25

Rush Hour 20 (Youngest played this by himself when everyone else at the table played Quarriors. He wanted it included in the list)

Quarriors 35

Quarriors 25

Zombies 50

Zombies (Steven rules) 10

Quarriors 60

Descent the 2nd Edition 90

Agricola 60

Quarriors 30

Dominion 50

Botsawana 20

Descent the 2nd Edition 120

Puerto Rico 90

Quarriors 60

Agricola 100

 

I think, if I remember correctly I purposely lost one game of Zombies, and one of Quarriors.

 

When I play Puerto Rico with both boys I play half the game, then Youngest takes over for me for the other half. This way the game is a better length of time. His playing ability levels out with mine so it's always a close game.

 

For the games only Eldest plays with only other adults no one goes easy on him or lets him win. At most we might point some things out of make suggestions.

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My parents used to let me win, and I was embarrased and humiliated when I figured out what they were doing. It made me doubt my own abilities and made me cringe when I remembered how happy I was when I won and realized everyone was patronizing or laughing at me.

 

We absolutely do not let our kids win. We choose games at which they actually have a shot, and we play several times through with commentary and discussion to make sure they really understand before playing for real. When it is a game that includes or can be restructured to use teams, we put an adult with each kid to make sure they have a fighting chance.

 

And, sometimes, I don't play really full out and am not as cut-throat competitive as I would be with an adult, but I do not intentionally let a kid win.

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I guess I don't understand why parents would play games with their kids knowing they will cream them every time. Do kids actually enjoy that? Or do you only play games of chance?

 

Part of my husband playing chess with the boys is to help them become better chess players, not to beat them. Good luck finding a ten year old who can beat my husband.

 

Likewise, my nine year old may want to play Scrabble with me, or Quiddler, and I may play it with him b/c I think it's good for the brain, but he will lose every time if I play like I'm playing an adult.

 

Do kids actually enjoy playing games they lose constantly to? Do your kids keep asking to play games requiring skill and not chance despite losing ever time?

 

It's like playing catch with a little kid. You don't throw the ball your hardest and just let him run after it everytime. Or hide and seek. Who didn't pretend not to know where your child was hiding? I just think every child wants to have fun and good parents know when it's time to start treating them like the big boys.

Edited by nestof3
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I voted Other.

 

When my kids were young, I would often make suggestions to help them consider moves, and sometimes I would delay my winning to continue the game or to give them a chance. I didn't feel the need to slaughter them or to win at all costs.

 

But when they could beat me, then all bets were off, and I played to win.

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I guess I don't understand why parents would play games with their kids knowing they will cream them every time. Do kids actually enjoy that? Or do you only play games of chance?

 

We've always tried to choose games in which the kids have a fighting chance at winning fair and square. There are plenty of games like Candyland and others that have enough element of luck to make them kid friendly.

 

Part of my husband playing chess with the boys is to help them become better chess players, not to beat them. Good luck finding a ten year old who can beat my husband.

 

Sure, and my husband plays chess with our son, too. They've been playing on and off for a few years, now, and they are still at the "Dad talks while he plays" stage. Essentially, my husband thinks out loud so our son can learn how it's done. Every now and then, my son feels ready to give it a try without the chatting, and he wins occasionally. Even when he doesn't manage to win, he takes pride in how well he plays, how long he holds Dad off from beating him, how much he's improving.

 

Likewise, my nine year old may want to play Scrabble with me, or Quiddler, and I may play it with him b/c I think it's good for the brain, but he will lose every time if I play like I'm playing an adult.

 

In a case like that, I might negotiate a handicap for the kid. For example, we might decide up front that his plays are worth double mine, so he earns two points where I earn one. That way, there's no deception, but the kid still has a leg up on the adult.

 

Do kids actually enjoy playing games they lose constantly to? Do your kids keep asking to play games requiring skill and not chance despite losing ever time?

 

Well, if we do this correctly -- using the talk-it-through approach, choosing games with a significant element of chace, handicapping, etc. -- they don't always lose.

 

It's like playing catch with a little kid. You don't throw the ball your hardest and just let him run after it everytime.

 

We're not a sports family, but I'm assuming a parent teaching a child to play catch might say or do things that make it clear he or she is going easy while the child learns, right? You don't pretend to be throwing your hardest and farthest while faking it, do you?

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No, and I don't pretend to lose. With chance games, the playing field is equal. We don't play many chance games around here compared to skill games. I would prefer to play something like Quiddler or Trivia Pursuit and help them out. There is no need to let a child win in Candy Land because you have no better chance if winning. I did get rid of those ridiculous "go back to start" cards. The game is long enough as it is.

 

How can you let a child win in a chance game anyway?

 

And with chess, the goal is to make the boys better chess players. They will never win against my husband at their ages. He is too good.

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No, and I don't pretend to lose. With chance games, the playing field is equal. We don't play many chance games around here compared to skill games. I would prefer to play something like Quiddler or Trivia Pursuit and help them out. There is no need to let a child win in Candy Land because you have no better chance if winning. I did get rid of those ridiculous "go back to start" cards. The game is long enough as it is.

 

How can you let a child win in a chance game anyway?.

 

Honestly, it's been years since we've had to worry about whether to let a kid win anything, and I just pulled Candyland out of a hat. I don't remember any details about how that game works. I think, though, that I said games that had an "element of luck," not "games of chance."

 

I did think of one game that solved this problem beautifully, by the way. We used to play a Disney trivia game that had separate decks of cards for kids and adults. The adult cards had actual trivia questions about Disney films, but the kids' cards mostly had kids identify characters, films and plot points from the movies.

 

Again, we just tried to be honest about the fact that adults have advantages with some games and adjusted either the rules (removing certain kinds of penalties or allowing a specific, small advantage) or the scoring so the kids had a more even playing field.

 

And with chess, the goal is to make the boys better chess players. They will never win against my husband at their ages. He is too good.

 

Maybe not at their ages, but you might be surprised at how soon they do manage to legitimately win.

 

My son is 14 and has won occasionally against my husband for the past couple of years.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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When they were younger, if we are playing a lot and I'm winning every single time, I would throw in a couple losses to keep it fun. They're old enough now to handle losing and old enough to where I don't dominate in most games. Except chess. They've never won a chess game against me but they also don't care about chess very much and we rarely play.

 

When we first got our Wii, my youngest was beating everyone in boxing. My husband played her over and over till he finally beat her. It was kind of hilarious. :) Everyone's arms were sore the next day.

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In a case like that, I might negotiate a handicap for the kid. For example, we might decide up front that his plays are worth double mine, so he earns two points where I earn one. That way, there's no deception, but the kid still has a leg up on the adult
This is what I prefer to do for any game where DD9 isn't able to hold her own - I like everyone to have aprox. equal chance to win through our own abilities rather than have to play down or lose on purpose. Usually I try to make it a slight person specific change in rules to either make things easier for her (or harder for the adults for some kids games) - and then when she starts winning consistently she has to move "up a level" to new rules.
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It depends on the game. I don't enjoy playing if I'm losing (or winning) all the time, and I'm sure the kids feel the same. Both dds are fine with losing and don't give up easily, but I don't see the need in constantly beating them at one or two games. I think it's good they win occasionaly, even if not on their own merit. There are many games they win all on their own, but I don't see a problem in helping them out sometimes in the other games.

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It depends on the game. I don't enjoy playing if I'm losing (or winning) all the time, and I'm sure the kids feel the same. Both dds are fine with losing and don't give up easily, but I don't see the need in constantly beating them at one or two games. I think it's good they win occasionaly, even if not on their own merit. There are many games they win all on their own, but I don't see a problem in helping them out sometimes in the other games.

 

I think that's the difference. My boys don't think I'm trying my hardest. They know I'm giving them chances because I want it to be enjoyable for all but a learning experience as well. Sometimes Ben will be bummed that he missed a trivial pursuit question. I say, "Gosh, who knows everything? The great thing is, we all know it now."

 

I don't fake it as much as aim to facilitate fun for all. It's like jokes. Often, the boys will come to me with a joke. I know the punch line already, but I play along. I could say, "I know this joke already" or blurt out the answer. I just play along. If they ask if I'd heard it before, I'm honest. But, if not, I give them the joy of telling a good joke.

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Sometimes. It depends on the day. (Attitudes, tiredness, etc. of me and them) Some days I'll throw a game, other days, I'll help them strategize or let them re-think a move if I see something they should/could have done differently (ie: a card laid, is not necessarily a card played), and sometimes I just plain play to win. They need to learn to be good sports at losing too, not just winning.

 

I LOVE Spoons (we call it Donkey sometimes).

 

I would like to add that MY kids are scared to learn to play Spoons after watching us adults play it this past New Year's, though. :D They saw some serious diving...as in chairs flying, people laying across the top of the table to reach the spoon that landed on the floor on the other side of the table, etc. It was W.I.L.D. :lol: At least one person usually gets injured playing it - gouged knuckles from fingernails, bumping something on the table/chair, etc. So much fun though!!!!

Edited by fraidycat
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I voted sometimes but it’s more that I obviously help them than I pretend to lose. An example would be Mastermind which we’ve been playing constantly this week. If they are stuck or having trouble I’ll ask them if they want help and then talk them through it the next guess. And if they make a bad guess I’ll ask them if they are sure and tell them to look again. I wouldn’t do that playing dh. They know I’m helping though. We have a few games that I almost always win (Blink, a card game, is one) and they know it’s just because I’m older. My oldest has beaten me once or twice and he was incredibly happy. We have one game that I have never won, Monopoly Deal (a card game version), and several times they have tried to throw it because they felt sorry for me. :)

 

We don’t let the 5 yr old win when he’s playing with us at games like Monopoly or Settlers of Catan. If it’s a game that’s beyond his ability (like Clue) we’ll either give him help or put him on a team.

 

I try really hard to avoid playing Candyland. If I do have to play it I cheat so that someone can win fast and the stupid thing can just be over. :)

Edited by Alice
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I like everyone to have aprox. equal chance to win through our own abilities rather than have to play down or lose on purpose. Usually I try to make it a slight person specific change in rules to either make things easier for her (or harder for the adults for some kids games)

 

Me too. (I posted earlier that I would offer suggestions to help them think through moves.) Or I would level the playing field, perhaps saying that I will not put any of my Battleship pieces on the 10 and J rows, or giving them 2-3 extra cards when playing Clue.

 

I'm not interested in losing, but I want to win fairly.

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I will let them win a new game, but even at 2&3, I let them lose. It is important that they learn to lose gracefully at a young age. DS hates to lose. I make sure he has many opportunities to practice losing ;) He beats me some now in his own though.

 

I'm trying to think of any skill-related games a child plays at 2 or 3. Help me out here. What games do you let them lose at? At that age, aside from perhaps Memory, I cannot think of another game that wasn't complete chance.

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I'm trying to think of any skill-related games a child plays at 2 or 3. Help me out here. What games do you let them lose at? At that age, aside from perhaps Memory, I cannot think of another game that wasn't complete chance.

 

 

In our house one would have been Zingo. Oh and also Spot It. The skill is in recognizing a match faster than the others. (I don't know what the suggested age range is for those games, but my son by age 3 was definitely playing those two).

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Depends on the game. We're a gaming household, and DD has been playing adult games since she was 3 or so, so yes, we tweak rules and sometimes outright play to keep the game competitive, simply because DH and I both have about 25 years of strategy gaming experience on her at this point. It's things like not upgrading cities in Catan when you already have 8 victory points and she has 3, but building development cards instead, or not playing a farmer when you could easily connect to and steal her farms in Carcassone, or letting her use a dictionary in Scrabble and choosing to play a 6 letter word instead of adding the S to the end and making it a 7 letter one for the 50 point bonus. Once you're in the end game, then, well, if you have a good move, you play it-but it at least means that it's not a total rout. And I will say that we're doing this MUCH less at almost 8 than we did at 4-5. At this point, she's pretty good at seeing the moves and making good ones.

 

In kid's games that are basically random chance....well, none of us like them much anyway.

Edited by dmmetler
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Do kids actually enjoy playing games they lose constantly to? Do your kids keep asking to play games requiring skill and not chance despite losing ever time?

 

It's like playing catch with a little kid. You don't throw the ball your hardest and just let him run after it everytime. Or hide and seek. Who didn't pretend not to know where your child was hiding? I just think every child wants to have fun and good parents know when it's time to start treating them like the big boys.

 

Well, no, because the entire point of catch is to throw it so that the other person can throw it. So if you throw it too hard, you both lose. I don't think that's the same at all. I don'tknow about hide and seek, we never played that.

 

Anyway, my kids never minded. And you improve much more quickly when you lose than when you win, because you see what works and what doesn't. So they quickly gain enough skill to beat us at least some of the time (if not always. :D) We never really play games of chance, because those seem pointless to me.

 

I think it's part of our views overall, though. We teach them - through this and in other ways - that there are people who are better at certain things, that things don't need to be equal and fair, etc. The results show up in the kind of people they are now as they become young adults, and I think we definitely made the right choice. My little guy and I play this game, not even sure what it's called, where you have to move pieces around and match them to the pieces on cubes you rolled. I beat him every single time. He loves it, and he begs me to play it over and over (instead of the Wii even.) And you should see him at sports practice. That kid will get up over and over and over, as other boys are (literally :001_huh:) crying, and face someone bigger than him and get beat. And each time, he improves his strategy or tries harder. I will never worry about life knocking him down.

 

Oddly enough, we are very non-competitive about life in general. We have taught our dc that we always put others first, that we don't try to better anyone, etc. But within our family or with friends, when it comes to games for recration, you give it your honest best try.

Edited by angela in ohio
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In our house one would have been Zingo. Oh and also Spot It. The skill is in recognizing a match faster than the others. (I don't know what the suggested age range is for those games, but my son by age 3 was definitely playing those two).

 

Oh, we have a game like Spot On -- it's called Catch the Match. We love that game. Never played Zingo. Yes, in Catch the Match, I would intentionally be slower sometimes but not others.

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When they were very young, I let them win most, but not all of the time. Now, I let them win occasionally. I will, however, gladly stack the deck or cheat in some other manner to get a game over with that is dragging on far too long for my liking! :tongue_smilie:

 

War comes to mind with this game. I have purposely stacked the deck just to get the game over with already. ;)

 

I guess I don't understand why parents would play games with their kids knowing they will cream them every time. Do kids actually enjoy that? Or do you only play games of chance?

 

Do kids actually enjoy playing games they lose constantly to? Do your kids keep asking to play games requiring skill and not chance despite losing ever time?

 

 

I play Scrabble with my DH. We have been married over 10 years now and we have played the game together more than 100 times. I have only beaten him once. And I'm pretty sure it's because he purposely didn't play words that would have won him the game-so the victory is tainted because I don't think I really won. And yet I still play it with him. I have no idea why. I know I'm going to lose, I hate strategy games in general, so why do I keep playing that same game against him??? :confused:

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