Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 7:19 pm | Fair 61º


She Said, Z Said: We’re a Family of Winners

Is it better to learn to be a graceful loser, or to win at all costs, especially if you can beat your dad?

She: Why won’t you let Koss win at anything?

Z: Carefully thought out parenting skills?

She: I was watching our brother-in-law let his daughter beat him at swimming the other day, and realized you would never do that.

Z: And that’s why she’s going to grow up weak and flabby. She’d never make it in Stalinist Russia.

She: I’m guessing that’s not a big concern for them.

Z: I don’t think Koss would want me to let him win.

She: I don’t think he was real thrilled when he was 3 years old and you scored 50 baskets on him.

Z: He left the lanes wide open. What am I supposed to do?

She: Not strut around and trash talk like you just stuffed Shaq, for one thing.

Z: Character building.

She: I understand that you want Koss to learn to savor the pleasure of a real victory, rather than be shocked the next time a bigger kid beats him at handball. But what I don’t understand is how much pleasure you take in gloating about being able to dunk a basketball into an eight-foot hoop while a 4-foot kid is trying to guard you.

Z: Did you see that? How sweet was that dunk. Blew right by him.

She: He weighs 75 pounds.

Z: You never played basketball when you were a kid.

She: I played plenty of other stuff.

Z: True. Enough to know that a victory earned is far better and more significant than a victory handed over, which is meaningless, and quite frankly a little insulting.

She: But we’re talking about a 9-year-old child here. Aren’t you at all concerned about his self-esteem?

Z: Seriously? Have you met our child?

She: OK, I’ll grant that he’s doing pretty well in the self-esteem department, but just think how happy he would be if he beat you at something.

Z: Isn’t beating you at Boggle enough?

She: I had a cold.

Z: For six months?

She: I can still take him.

Z: Besides, when he does finally win against me, legitimately, it has much greater resonance. He beat me at chess once a year ago, and he can still remember every single move in the game.

She: How old were you when you beat your Dad at chess?

Z: Nine-and-a-half.

She: What about basketball?

Z: Twelve-and-a-quarter.

She: Scrabble?

Z: He stopped playing against me before he’d let that happen. That’s a great idea ...

She: Are you seeing a pattern here?

Z: No, not at all, it has nothing to do with my Dad. Sure, he never let me win at anything either, but what could that possibly have to do with the way I raise my kid?

She: Not a thing. It’s all about teaching Koss that a victory earned is far better and more significant than a victory handed over, which you wouldn’t want to insult him with.

Z: Yes, exactly.

She: So this is why you never, ever let me win an argument, even when you’ve clearly lost. I feel so much better now.

Z: Yes, dear.

Do you let your kids win — at anything? Share your stories with She and Z at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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