Kids like to play games and it’s great when they can play them with their parents. But the age-old question is this: should Mom and Dad let the kids win?

There are several factors parents need to consider. In other words, there is no simple answer.

Some parents might view letting their child win as a way to build that child up and support him. On the other hand, it’s true that losing is a part of life and kids can learn from a loss.

Here are some guidelines for parents.

•  Consider the age and abilities of your child. By the time kids enter school they begin to understand rules and have a sense of “fairness.”

•  Children as young as 4 know when their parent is letting them win. The negative might be that the child believes Mom or Dad don’t think he is skilled enough to win.

Parents, keep in mind the fact that it isn’t a good idea to win at all costs. Instead give helpful hints along the way. For example, when the child is preparing to make a poor move in the game of checkers the parent can simply ask, “Do you really want to move there?” giving the child an opportunity to evaluate his options.

Games can teach valuable life lessons whether the child wins or loses. Kids can learn to exhibit patience, strategic thinking, encouragement, and learn to recover from losing, from “failure.”

After all there will be losses and failures in real life too.

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