, , , ,

Eli arranging1. Grandson Eli starts the Memory game with me. (He likes to go first. And to make up the rules too.)


E winning, hands up2. Eli, legitimately, crushes me in the first game.



3. In game two, Eli (barely) loses. Has minor ‘meltdown’ (formerly referred to as a ‘tantrum’).

(OK. The pictures aren’t as good as Ellen takes. But you get the point.)

My question is about winning and losing.

I know I’ve written about this elsewhere on MillersTime, and some of you were so kind as to offer your excellent advice. That was in the post A Question from a 4 1/2 Year Old.

But now my question is a bit different.

In playing with one’s grandkid (or your own kid, for that matter), what is the proper way the elder should approach the competition?

1. Let the little tyke win?

2. Crush the kid?

3. (You supply the answer)

As you consider your answer, think about all kinds of competition, sports, board games, word games, coming in first at anything, etc. Eli seems able to turn everything we do into a contest. Should the elder’s approach differ depending upon the ‘game’?

Please advise.




My own parenting was with two daughters, and they were much less competitive than my grandson seems to be. So I have not had to face this momentous question quite as directly as I do now.

Actually, lest you think this may be a sexist issue, it appears that granddaughter Abby is as competitive as her brother.

And then there’s one-year old Ryan, who is soon likely to crush all of us in whatever game we indulge.


As a child, and until recently, I was more than extremely competitive.

I loved any kind of competition.

And I hated losing.

To anyone.


My father once beat me in chess, playing blindfolded, when I was about seven.

I didn’t play chess again for years.