To WIN Or Not To WIN?

To Win or Not To Win?
As we sat at breakfast this morning, I was met with a challenge from the lady across the table. She said, “Do you want to play me in Tic Tac Toe?” It was early and my brain had not warmed up yet but I was up for the challenge. We jumped right in with our exchanges of x’s and o’s. We had a few draws but ultimately I was winning.  
I noticed the strange response of my opponent. The more I would win, the sadder and frustrated she would become. I was convinced that if I would win again, she would quit. I wondered if this was a teaching moment? Here were my options. If I win, she quits. If she quits now, I allow her to become a sore loser. Maybe I should let her win? When she wins, she smiles. I thought about the dangers in letting her win and I want to share them with you. I have to tell you that my opponent was my eight year old daughter. This kinda swings my soft heart in her favor. Nevertheless here are my observations.

Firstly, If I let her win, she enjoys the great feeling of victory, but the battle was a hoax. It’s the heavy weight fight that the opponent intentionally takes the dive from a weak punch. It’s the victory without the sweat, blood, and tears. How can she truly enjoy the win that is not worked for.

Secondly, if she takes home the win, she somehow believes that the effort she just exerted was sufficient to achieve success. The next challenge will pose a problem. When she faces the next opponent, she will only do what she has done before because it worked last time. This could ultimately crush her when she receives the LOSS. It could very well devastate her to the place that she never wants to play again. What if she loses her confidence in herself and becomes unsure?  

I came to the conclusion that it would be better to beat her fair and square. If I annihilate her, hopefully it will challenge her to work harder and smarter the next time to win.

Maybe I will teach her a few tricks of the trade along the way. I think it’s my duty to continue the undefeated reign of Fatherhood. The first rule of Fatherhood is to WIN at all cost. This may mean knocking the board off the table but that’s another conversation.
Sheltering your child from tough times might just make them unprepared to handle life on their own.

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