If you’re a dad (or a mom), then you know the importance of teaching your kids to play fair. Win, or lose, it’s how you play the game that’s of the utmost importance.
On the other hand, you also know the importance of boosting their self-confidence. So you, like I have in times past, will throw a game to make them feel good. Not very often, mind you, but just often enough to ensure the challenge doesn’t discourage them.
Is this a good thing? I think so. You just can’t let your child know that you purposefully lost. Compete hard enough to make it feel fair. It’s truly a boost to their fragile psyches.
You may counter my contention here by saying that this doesn’t reflect reality, that perhaps does more harm than good. Perhaps you’re right. That we should be teaching our kids how to handle disappointment. Certainly, there’s a time and place for that. We can’t always let them win. We’ve got to strike that balance, teach them how to be sportsmanlike with either outcome.
This is where I totally missed the mark.
What I mean is: the male ego is a frail, fickle thing. Which you should take to mean that my twelve-year-old son is far better than me at video games. Makes sense: he has far more time to practice.
This fact did not make me feel good this past weekend. In fact, I had what could only be described as a tantrum. I’m not proud of it; in fact, I write this to my shame.
You know what my son did? He started throwing games to make me feel good! Thing is, I knew he was doing so! Which only served to make me more upset.
And thus–in this regard–my life has jumped the shark!
In this, he is the master, and I’m but the padawan! This does not make me feel good. Not one little bit.
It didn’t help at all that my wife was there, witness to the entire sordid affair. (Let me tell you: this really helped my ego. Not!).
Lunch was served shortly thereafter. I had two things to eat that day: crow sandwich and humble pie.
I have come to grips with the fact that, in this area, my son is better than me.
The truth is–with regard to video games–I suck.
If you like, please feel free to share the areas where you are experiencing suckage in your life in the comments.