Sunday, November 18, 2012

A board of magic

We have been on a board game kick here in the household as of late. It started right before Sandy, when we were preparing for the possibility of no power and a very active three year old.  Pulling out Chutes and Ladders, we introduced little man to a little thing called, a board game. Yes it was quite a concept to a son who assumed that the only games you can play are on a phone or on daddys Wii. Of course, as you know we were spared of Sandy's wrath thank the lord, but the storm taught us 2 important lesson.

1. Modern technology is great, but nothing beats a classic. 

This weekend while we were out, I suggested we continue this board game thing and picked up Candyland. A staple during my childhood, I was quite surprised when my own husband informed me he had never played it in his life. Seriously?? Who hasn't played this as a kid. None the less, we pulled out the classic, set it up and soon sat down to enjoy a Saturday evening with no TV and no phones.  And what we found, was that win or lose, little man enjoys his board games. Since picking it up, we have played somewhere of two dozen rounds of it. Anderson on his end seems to enjoy it as well though he still swears he does not remember ever playing it. I say he was apparently a deprived child.  It was amazing how for that two hours we sat there playing it neither of us checked email. Neither of us cared what game was on, what TV show we may or may not be missing and none of us cared that the house was completely silent.  I know people think they couldn't survive without the every day convenience of TVs. But on that Saturday night on the weekend before Thanksgiving, this family learned that sometimes, nothing can replace three plastic gingerbread men, and a board.

2. Little man does not need to win every game.

I get it. I know he is the kid, and he is only three and because of this he should win by default. And while I agree that he should win, and that it is an important lesson. I also feel that losing is just as important. And so we let him win-ok, so let may not be the correct word because he technically won on his own right-but we also let him lose. Should this make me a bad parent? I don't know. But here is the thing. If I let him win every game, every time he will grow up with the expectation that he will always win. And as much as I want my child to succeeded I also know that there are times when he won't win that first place trophy. When he won't win the girl, the game or even the lottery. And how did he take this lesson? Did he stomp and kick his feet exclaiming its not fair? Not fair at all? No, he smiled congratulated the winner and then said 'How about we play for 2nd.' and then he smiled and laughed and pulled out that next card, and then added. 'Maybe next time I will win.'

And perhaps this will be the greatest lesson of his life.

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