All About Winning

R has gotten into this really bad habit of crying and throwing a tantrum incase she loses a game. Lets say a snakes and ladders or a game of ludo. She HAS to win. While occasionally I used to let her win, I usually play a fair game with her. Its after all a game of chance and she needs to know that the process of playing is so much more fun than the actual winning.

Yesterday she and my dad were playing a game of snakes and ladders with Amma moderating the game. She was almost winning but in the end, lost the game. and then she cried and cried and cried…RD lost his temper, Amma Appa were flummoxed at the behaviour and she threw a major tantrum. I kept telling her that she laughed and enjoyed so much while playing the game and so why this crying now..its fine, participation is important. She said no winning is important. No I said, its not. Its the fun you have during participation which is more important than anything else.

Appa tried explaining to her about the game of chance and stuff. But she just wouldn’t stop. Finally Amma just gave her a cup of hot bournvita and then she calmed down a bit!

In the night before she went to sleep Appa told her this story. This is the gist of the story, which Amma told me today morning that Appa had told her. Obviously he would have added a lot of masala to it.

So there was this little boy who always wanted to win. He asks God for a boon and after that he is always winning always winning. Any game he plays, 1,2,3….40,50. All games he keeps winning.

Then he slowly realises that people are not playing with him at all. They all play with each other, but whenever he comes to play, no one wants to play with him. What is the point they say, you are always winning. Its no fun playing with you!

And the little boy loses his friends and everyone around him. He realises he doesnt like winning anymore. So he goes back to God and asks him to take away the boon. Why, God asks him. Because I want to enjoy playing, not keep winning all the time. And God agrees to him.

I hope this story makes R realise that winning is not at all important in life. Having fun during the game is so much more important.

*fingers crossed*


About R's Mom

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30 Responses to All About Winning

  1. My first reaction: it’s great that a young kid actually enjoys playing Snakes & Ladders, Ludo, etc.. these days (assuming she plays the traditional board game, not a computer version)!!

    How do the elders around R react when they lose out on a business deal or a promotion, etc.? How do the elders react when India loses a cricket match? Do they rave and rant, or do they say, “Winning is not everything”?

    • R's Mom says:

      yes yes..board game only 🙂

      Well, honestly neither RD nor I really talk about business or matches in front of R…at least I am not aware of it..may be this is more of the daycare influence where kids do compete from eating first to finishing homework first 🙂

  2. Prachi says:

    Well RM…I think this also a phase and will pass as R grows up…
    Even I used to enjoy winning, my painting being best among my siblings and stuff like that…it was obvious as I am the elder one. Later it changed…we all grew up with our own specialities…and there was more of sharing and learning and enjoying.
    Talking about Lil champ, he is someone-out-of-this-world. At times, when I am running slow to let him win…He will run even slower so that I can win and be happy..!!!

  3. Veens says:

    Aarya at 3 and a half goes like this – “Aara winner, Aara Winner”; “Tatha lose, Tatha lose”. One day it was “Tatha loser”. I was so flummoxed, Hubs told me to relax, that he will not be like this after a while but everyday since then, it is the importance of winning something that fuels him up (which is a good thing, but…). He right now doesn’t throw a tantrum if he loses, but I can just *see* it happening in the near future. Another thing that I find very disturbing is – (mostly in a physical activity), once he loses; he loses interest in the activity and is not keen on trying again – the ” I am going to lose anyway” look comes on his face!
    I have no idea, how we will get through all this, but then we were not sure how we will reach the phase we are in, right now lol!

    Oh And I am mentally preparing to add masala to that story and narrate it here, when the time comes – so please say thanks to Dad for me 🙂

  4. I think it is a phase, RM. As far as I remember, I went through this phase too, but then grew out of it. 🙂 Fingers crossed for R. Too.
    That’s a cute story!

  5. Maya says:

    Love the story used to address the issue, RM. I know this needs to nipped in the bud but I also believe ‘This I want to win always’ is just a phase. Like biting. Throwing tantrums and the like. Just relax. This too shall pass!

  6. Love the story! 😀 Sadly though, a lot of kids seem to think they have to win all the time. Here they have gone to weird extremes where all kids get awards…there are apparently no winners or losers in some sport…which is also ridiculous because later in life, they are going to lose some things and need to learn to cope with losing!!! Finger crossed R starts to be ok with not winning all the time… keep us updated.

  7. Nidaa says:

    I think many kids go through this phase… I was like this too at R’s age. Being the youngest and the most pampered didn’t help either. I used to scatter the ludo pieces and chessmen when I begin to lose. People would let me win just to keep the peace. I don’t know what changed. May be seeing other kids losing gracefully made me ashamed. May be it was just a phase and I grew out of it. May be some book did it. But yea, it will pass for sure 😀

  8. R has such lovely grandparents 🙂 Winning tantrums are all a part of growing up and results of peer pressure, she will understand as she grows up. We have all been there at some point of time,be it school or sports or jobs.

  9. Bingo says:

    Hugs.. This too shall pass, definitely. My nephew used to do the exact thing. At one point everyone started losing game to him and we congratulate each other for losing the game 🙂 After some days he lost interest in winning and was ok if he lost too 🙂

  10. techie2mom says:

    So now i know from where you get the story telling genes 🙂 Awesome story..
    I will need it for sure in near future..
    Hope this is a phase with R and I am sure with such amazing grand parents and parents to tell her the right thing she will realize the importance of having fun while playing and not just concentrate on winning…

  11. Preeti says:

    Well . I have a different kind of problem with my son. He wants me to win. He will actually do everything to lose so I can win . He is 5 btw. I have not seen how he does with others so cannot comment on that

  12. Thanks RM for this post , can I use your dad’s story to explain Chucky the same funda. She is also so much like R after my parents visit . They used to encourage her to eat so that she is first, but now she thinks she always has to be first to be the best .. I hate it..I have explained life is not a race and she has to enjoy what she is doing , being first or last doesn’t matter. I think it will take sometime for her to understand and accept it.

  13. Ashwathy says:

    Your Appa is the one from whom you inherited the story telling skills eh?

  14. anisnest says:

    excellent story by Appa.. Now I know how RM became a story teller. Its in the genes yaar… I will definitely use this story.. convey my humble thanks to Appa..
    Adi also went through this RM.. Now, she behaves like a cat on the wall I would say by accepting the failure half the time and crying for success the other half time..
    Chalo.. they will learn it someday if we practice it in our life consistently..

  15. Seema says:

    I am die-hard RMD fan. Period.
    Thanks you so much for sharing the story. I’m sure it will be useful for us at some point in life.

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