Learning Tip: Winning Strategies
By Susan Dichter
In recent years a number of non-competitive games in which "everybody wins" have come on the market. But most games still involve one winner, and when you play a strategy game with your child, chances are pretty good that the winner will be you. Is that bad? Should you purposely "lose" so that your child does not become discouraged? We don't think so. Most kids can sense when an adult allows them to win, and that's no victory at all. Rather than fake it, try these strategies:
Focus upon self-competition, encouraging your child to improve his level of achievement each time a particular game is played. For instance, he can shoot for a higher personal score or speed up his time.
Vary the schedule, playing games of chance as well as skill. A spinner or toss of the dice may excite more than it educates, but that's all right too. Just taking the time to play with your child communicates an important lesson!
Try out different kinds of games. You will probably find one in which he can hold his own, even beat you, and that will make playing more fun for you as well.
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk From The Trenches.
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