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Subject: Daughter siezes victory. Any insight? rss

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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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    So here's the issue I'm dealing with my 10-year-old.

    At the end of any game, if she loses, she will gather up whatever game parts constitute victory, and claim them as hers. For instance, last night we played Marrakesh (which I recommend by the way) and after a game in which her brother won by a nose, she grabbed all the unclaimed goods in the market, declared them her own, and in a joking voice declared herself the winner.

    I've addressed this with her about a dozen times now and explained that it is poor sportsmanship, and that it's ok if she loses the game, as when three or more smart people are playing it is more than likely that she will lose. I appreciate that she's not terribly tolerant of disappointment and I've worked hard to get her to understand that games with one clear winner result in a loss for most players at the board. She's becoming comfortable with that.

    At this point she's well aware that I disapprove of this and will look out of the corner of her eye at me as she does it. And yet it continues. I figure that in time I will beat it out of her, but I'm curious about why this particular flavor of behavior continues to occur. She doesn't get angry with the loss, and she congratulates the winner. So for the most part it's a minor issue. But it's still a curious thing for someone who doesn't otherwise show obsessive behavior.

    Any insight?

             Sag.


 
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Jim Cote
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Just stop inviting her to game nights. devil
 
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Any time she does that, tell her that the winner has to clean up the game by herself. devil
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Tobias DeSoto
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It sounds like she is doing it to be funny though, you said that it is in a 'joking voice' and also that she looks at you out of the corner of her eye... It sounds more like she is just screwing around, rather than being a poor sport about it.

My son had a similar problem when he was a little younger, but he was getting frustrated if he lost and would grunt and stuff if he knew he was going to lose. My wife suggested letting him win, and I refused. I didnt think it would be right to just let him win all the time, I thought when he got older that would be worse because he'd be used to winning all the time (I would go easy on him, especialy games that I knew I could win by tactis, etc., but I never just 'gave' him a victory).

If she is just doing it to mess around then I wouldnt worry about it too much, I like the idea that another user gave about telling her the winner has to clean up, it might discourage her from it.

Please let me know the outcome, with 3 more little ones rapidly getting old enough to join in the game playing, I am sure I'll encounter more (different) situations than the one I already have, so it will be nice to have some other people's info to fall back on.

Derek...
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Sounds like she's winning at her own game. Maybe you might want to try doing the same before she gets the chance too? This may cause greater problems so use at your discretion. At least she congratulates the winner, something I have a hard time getting my kids to do. When I see the game nearing the end I try and give my kids a heads up about good sportsmanship and proper ways to act if they don't win. While I do this I try and give as much postive feed back as possible about how they played and what they did that worked well for them. I also try to let them see what consequences might happen if they make a bad play during the game but I don't take it away from them, I let them make that choice if they want to keep it or change it.


Good luck!
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Hammock Backpacker
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After her declaration of winning, I'd probably feel compelled to state something like, "Yeah, had you actually gotten all of those goods during the game, you probably would have won!" and leave it at that.

This allows her to have her 'joking' moment but also sets the tone that everyone recognizes that it isn't real and to really win, you need to accomplish those goals during the game.



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Erin Leonhard
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One of the children (8 years old) I watch did this when I first started gaming with them. I figured out that he just wanted the attention because he was slightly jealous of the attention/praise his sister received when she won. I just began ignoring the behavior and asking them to help me clean up instead of responding to him directly. And then I praised him for being a good helper.

It only took him 2 more attempts before ceasing the behavior. Now he's a great sportsman about losing.
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Guy Riessen
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Wow, very interesting! On the one hand I really like the idea of also in a joking voice, saying the winner must clean up the game by themselves. Clever that. On the other hand, it would also seem important not to encourage that as a "winning" tactic. I think I would probably try the joking, "pick it up then," and see what happened. But if it didn't have an effect right away, look for another answer.

As the father of a 3.5 yo daughter, this is, and has been, a concern of mine. On the one hand, trying your best to win is important, but it is the journey which that entail where the joy should truly lie. What a tricky concept/value to instill!

I wish (for my sake as well as yours!) I had the perfect answer for you, but unfortunately I'll be watching for this elusive victory myself.
 
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Sounds like she knows how to push your buttons - why she keeps doing it is the issue.

Hmmm - maybe you should beat her to it and grin at her next time? If you play along like that, it will no longer be button-pushing and she'll lose the thrill.
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Sue Hemberger

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How 'bout a philsophical approach? Laugh and say "Yeah, that's the funny thing about games -- they're all about creating artificial obstacles. I mean if the person with the most money wins, why can't you just grab all the money at the beginning and skip the game? Right -- because that would be no fun. Games are never really about the objectives, they're about the process."

While I hate poor sports (which it sounds like your daughter emphatically is not), whether sore losers or gloating winners, my ideal gaming world isn't populated by gracious winners and losers. It's populated by people who play hard to win but who can't remember 5 minutes later who won the last game.
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Lo Ma
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I think a lot of it may be wanting attention. When we play with the kids, we tend to do a high five and something like "alright! Excellent move - that means blah blah blah..." for everyone's good moves. It's also a good coaching technique for teaching strategy and tactics - sometimes kids don't always know they made a really good move, and why it was. Then everyone high fives the final winner and tells 'em what a good job they did.

It allows everyone to get attention and accolades, makes everyone be a good sportsman, and teaches everyone to notice what everyone else is doing and how it may affect you! It makes you a better player, I think, even the parents.

It makes my spouse a better loser too... cool
 
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Looks to me like an earlier poster got it right - she probably wants the attention the winner gets. I'd just wait it out. I doubt it will last forever.

This makes me think of the problem I have with my daughter. My 4 (almost 5) year old has always loved gaming with me. But she will usually refuse to game with her 2 year old sister. Oftes she'll cry and scream if I start to play a game with Lucy (the younger daughter). I'm pretty sure that she's always considered playing games with me the time where she gets all my attentions, and now she's jealous whenever there's somebody else there. I'm assuming that this will pass, but for now, it's pretty painful because every time I try to play a game with Lucy or play a 3-player game with all of us, there's always a huge tantrum.
 
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jl4130 wrote:
I personally ended up with the idea that if you truly tried your best and failed, it's okay if you don't do it again.


Should it really matter whether you won or not? I think you're right about trying your best, but I wouldn't give up after one failure.
 
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Ohh boy those teenage years are going to be rough for you. Get her to a nunnery now I say.
 
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Shellie Rose
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She may need reassurance that you are proud of her whether she wins or doesn't. If you don't already, try praising her good moves during the game, and telling her that she played well after the game. My daughter used to get rather upset when she lost a game. At the very end of a game, in that moment before the pout set in, I started saying, "You are a worthy opponent. Well done." Then the pout would turn into a smile. Now she says it to the other players when she wins.
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Melissa
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This may just be one of those sense of humour issues that are going to dominate your life for the next few years. Ten year olds (and eight year olds ... sigh) find some things hysterically funny that we just don't. She may think she's being witty - and her friends might agree.

That said, I like the idea of making her clean up and then praising her for being so helpful.
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ubarose wrote:
She may need reassurance that you are proud of her whether she wins or doesn't. If you don't already, try praising her good moves during the game, and telling her that she played well after the game. My daughter used to get rather upset when she lost a game. At the very end of a game, in that moment before the pout set in, I started saying, "You are a worthy opponent. Well done." Then the pout would turn into a smile. Now she says it to the other players when she wins.


    She does indeed need more reassurance than any of her siblings -- just her nature.

    For quite awhile I was frustrated that she would think she was losing and bail on a game. One night we were playing Queen's Necklace (I know, she's too young for it, but we play with open hands and share strategies), and she was ahead at the first scoring. Happy as a clam. In the second scoring I unloaded, caught up, and got about 40 points ahead. 40 is nothing in QN. I was ahead, but I was empty. She had gems and specials that gave her plenty of control for the last session. She gave up! I couldn't convince her she was winning.

    We're past that now, so there's progress happening. I praise much and give her fair assessments of her positions. But I still need her to finish a bit more politely.

    I have eight more years until she leaves for college so likely I'll manage to work it in.

             Sag.
 
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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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ced1106 wrote:
Hmm... What other games are you playing? Are you also playing more social and less strategic games, like Apples to Apples? It's a stereotype, but maybe she's playing for the social activity, then gets peeved when she loses. Also, of course, see who in the family (ahem!) she picks up this behavior from.

Good luck,


aka. Washu! ^O^



    Generally the games are much more social and less intense in nature. Marrakesh has had a run lately, PitchCar, and she enjoys her roll-and-moves a bunch too although she's growing out of them. I don't have Apples to Apples, and I should likely get a copy of the junior or kid version seeing as I have three more coming behind her.

             Sag.
 
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Denise Lavely
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andsoerinsaid wrote:
One of the children (8 years old) I watch did this when I first started gaming with them. I figured out that he just wanted the attention because he was slightly jealous of the attention/praise his sister received when she won. I just began ignoring the behavior and asking them to help me clean up instead of responding to him directly. And then I praised him for being a good helper.

It only took him 2 more attempts before ceasing the behavior. Now he's a great sportsman about losing.


I just want to say I like this idea and it feels like one that might work for your situation. She really seems to be looking for some extra attention, and getting that from a more appropriate channel like being the good helper seems like an elegant way to address the issue without inadvertently encouraging the less desirable behavior.

Let us know how it goes - my daughter is just a couple years behind yours and I'm finding the things you post about with yours often come up with mine later, so I'm especially interested to hear
 
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Daniel Danzer
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To me the behaviour sounds like an attempt to switch into something less serious than having lost the game, turning it into a victory by imagination - like Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" would do. It sounds like a good lightning-conductor she had found for her frustration.

She is oberambitious, but that is also a good sign - imagine she would be not ambitious at all! Having a kind of ambitious 10-year-old myself, I`d try to react with humour, laughing and don`t strengthen the tension in his/her mind. Feel free to do the same if she wins a game!

Keep calm, she will learn by herself, loking at you and her siblings, and change her behaviour. The same with a baby wanting her mother`s breast. You don`t have to break it of this habit, but it will slowly want less and less and want to become independent and everything.

Trust her.

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Zoe Robinson
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duchamp wrote:
To me the behaviour sounds like an attempt to switch into something less serious than having lost the game, turning it into a victory by imagination - like Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" would do. It sounds like a good lightning-conductor she had found for her frustration.


Heh. This does indeed remind me very much of Calvinball.
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John W
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Good thread.

It does seem tough to tell whether she's exhibiting a habit that should be snuffed out by All Means Necessary or something that should be laughed off and tolerated.

You have my sympathy, in worrying about which one this is.....
 
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Lori
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Re: Daughter seizes victory. Any insight?
smithhemb wrote:
my ideal gaming world isn't populated by gracious winners and losers. It's populated by people who play hard to win but who can't remember 5 minutes later who won the last game.


Absolutely perfect, Sue.
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Sir Cumference
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About what percentage of the games does she win? If it's way lower than the other players, maybe find a game she is better at? I agree she'll probably drop it if there is some regular way to move on from the outcome and get attention on her in some other way.
 
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