Group Therapy is in session! Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, that’s what it’s all about!
A listener name Mark texted us (at 77999, of course) to talk about his 4-year-old daughter, who was described as a “big fat cheater.”
Harsh words for a little kid? Maybe…but Mark’s daughter cheats at Candyland! Whenever Mark calls her out, the kid is defended by Mark’s wife, and his in-laws; they believe that she’s young enough that it doesn’t really matter. Meanwhile, Mark is concerned that she’s going to grow up thinking that cheating is acceptable, and he’s doing his best to nip that in the bud.
One response from a Rock-A-Holic made an excellent point: Cheating is wrong, and we shouldn’t teach our kids to accept it…but the daughter also needs to experience the joy of winning, or she may lose interest. There’s really something to this way of thinking, in my opinion. It’s a tough balance for a parent, navigating situations like these, especially when your child is at such a young, impressionable age; they need to understand both sides of the game-playing experience.
I’m a great lover of board games, both for personal enjoyment and as a way of bonding with friends and family. Have you experienced this situation with your own kids? Are you a former childhood cheat who has seen the error of their ways? We’d love to hear from you!
Winning is a lot of fun, especially if you play the game by the rules. Cheating is never acceptable.
I agree with D.S, but would add this: letting your kid win is one thing, letting them cheat is another. Keep in mind that the joy of winning is important, learning to lose with grace is also important. Also, if they lose a lot when they're young, being able to beat you when they get older will be that much more satisfying.
Yes it is OK to let them win once in awhile. But do not make it obvious.