What I observed was a mom pretending to play her hardest against her eight year old son, while sneaking a few extra sheep into his corral. After three rounds, he won every time. Hmmm, was this mom benefiting this boy by doing this?
It didn’t sit well with me, but I wasn’t sure why. Then as they were walking away I heard the boy proclaim, “Na, na Mom, I beat you.”
That was it; this mom was raising a brat. Her kindly actions were causing him to think too highly of himself. He was not being required to develop the character of winning and losing graciously. If mom had any say, he would never experience losing at all.
I have no problem not playing one’s hardest while teaching another something. Yet, by eight years old a boy needs to know how to lose. And the above boy hadn’t even learned how to win well.
As parents our job is to prepare our children for the future. Looking ahead to what will most benefit our child is how we should choose how to treat them. Regarding the given example, this boy would have benefited more by being beaten by his mother and taught to compliment her, than to win and being allowed speak insults. Life is not going to always deal this child victory. His training could start by learning to deal with disappointment in the little things, so as he matures he is well prepared for whatever this life brings him.