Often times parents of toddlers and young children tell me they let their child win when teaching them how to play board games. We all want our children to feel good about themselves and to boost their confidence. Aside from that, it can be difficult for us as parents when our child becomes upset, sometimes as if the world will come to an end, if he/she loses at a game. If we let our child “fake” win, however, we are not doing him/her any favors. Play is a child’s way of learning how to deal with real-life situations. If we let our children win when playing games, we deny them the opportunity to learn how to cope with disappointment. In a sense, we are allowing or encouraging them to expect victories all of the time. Once they come to expect victory, they may struggle when they don’t do well on a test, win at a computer game, or win at a sport. In an effort to build confidence in our children, we can praise them for good effort, “a good move” good strategy, and being patient while others take turns. This way when our child actually does win fair and square, the victory will be much sweeter for everyone!
If you need more information from a Woodland Hills Child Psychologist regarding this subject, please contact me.