I’m not a competitive person. I play games for fun. Sure, I keep score, but its more important to enjoy the game than to win. So with that perspective, I don’t really care that I lose at Candyland when I play with my 4 year old. I do care, however, that he cheats.
For those of you not hip to toddler games, this is the game I’m talking about:
To play, you put a many sided die under the train and push the train along the track. You lift up the train at one of the four colored Candyland stops, and if the color of the die matches the color of the stop, you get a piece of cardboard candy. The person with the most candy at the end of the the game (ie, when your toddler gets bored) wins.
My kid and I play this quite a bit. Recently, he started wanting Piglet to play with us.
So after I take my turn, my kid will push the train around using Piglet’s hand and Piglet will collect his own cardboard candy pieces. But then halfway through the game, Piglet will get tired and not want to play anymore. Ok, fine. Kid and I continue the game. But then Piglet will give his cardboard candy pieces to the kid, doubling the amount of tokens the kid collected and ensuring a win. I called him on it and told him that wasn’t fair, and he told me Piglet was just sharing.
As I said in the beginning, I don’t care that I lose at Candyland. Sadly, I know some people that really do have to beat their kids at games. But I do care that he’s cheating. Yeah, he’s 4, this is not a big deal, but I see him talk about winning before we even start the game, and I wonder, is that the only fun part for him? On one hand I’m impressing that I’m raising a kid smart enough to come up with this scheme, but I’m worried. Is he becoming too competitive? Does he even know he’s rigging the game to ensure a win?