No, this is not a post about Lance Armstrong. I could not care less about Mr. Armstrong or his cheater-cheater pumpkin eater liar-liar pants on fire ways.
So Goose, who is now 11 (11!), received an iPod touch for Christmas this year and has started playing games with her dad and me. When I play games with my kids I don’t necessarily bring my A game. I don’t believe in letting them win all of the time because I think it’s important for them to learn to lose and lose gracefully. Good sportsmanship, accepting defeat and trying again, and playing for the fun/love of the game are important life lessons. At the same time, I don’t think an almost 40 year old woman massacring her 11 year old daughter at Words with Friends on a regular basis (or maybe even at all) is an especially effective way to teach sportsmanship or confidence or self-esteem.
Chuck does not share my philosophy. It’s really more like he doesn’t have a philosophy–he doesn’t think about it. He plays the Z on the triple word every time. He does not instinctively hold back or go easy just because his opponent is a child.
I remember as a kid being excited for a new high score on some game only to wake up and see MOM on top of the leader board. And not just at the top but in every slot. My hard fought victory completely obliterated in a single night’s sleep! That’s a fond memory for me now, mostly because pretty much all of my mom memories are fond now. But I also think she knew me well enough to know it wouldn’t break my spirit.
It’s a fine line to walk sometimes–pushing our kids a little harder so they can grow, but still giving them the confidence to believe they can. We all need a victory now and then, however small.