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Thoughts For Thursday: Does A Game of Monopoly Prove I Am Too Soft?

August 4, 2011 · 75 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

After reading the title to this post, were you thinking “too many smores this summer, Kris”?  While that thought may be true, the point I was really trying to make is that I am still a softie when it comes to competing against my kids (most of the time).

Of course, I have no problems competing against anyone else I know.  However, when it comes to playing games against my kids, I still prefer to lose.  That is pretty pathetic considering all my kids are teenagers.

Take yesterday for example.  The kids and I all sat down to play Monopoly.  Monopoly is one of my all-time favorite games, and I love to be the banker.  (Probably because a certain someone I used to play against as a child loved to cheat, and I learned that I had to be the banker in order to have even a  slight chance at winning.)

You Gotta Make Deals In Monopoly If You Don’t Want The Game To Last Three Years

As usually happens in Monopoly when there is more than 2 people playing, it was hard for any one of us to attain a Monopoly all on our own.  Usually when deals are made on the side, people get frustrated and angry because one player seems to get the short end of the stick.  Somehow this time, we all swung deals that seemed somewhat fair.  I was thrilled because I ended up with the coveted ‘orange’ properties of St. James, Tennessee, and New York.  (Gotta love when someone gets the Chance card ‘go back 3 spaces’ and they land on New York.)  Being the moguless that I am, I built up hotels very quickly.

I Felt Bad Collecting All That Rent!

Things seemed to be going pretty evenly, until somehow people kept landing on my hotels.  I was collecting money hand over first.  However, I hated having those darn orange properties as the game went on!  I wanted to land on the kid’s properties.  I was accepting ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards as rent payments.  I think I even let one of the kids off the hook by taking a cruddy utility (Water Works) instead of $600.

After about 90 minutes, I put hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk because the game needed to end.   (Mainly because my not-so-secret-shame show “Dance Moms” was coming on, and my daughter and I always watch it together.)  By the time I collected my final payment for a hotel stay at Boardwalk, I had amassed $12,000.  (I did rock…)   I laughed to myself because that game totally brought back memories of purposely stacking the deck in Candyland so that I wouldn’t get ‘Queen Frostine’ and instead I would get sent back to ‘Gloppy’ .   Of course, my kids were toddlers then, and I didn’t purposely lose every time we played Candyland.  However, I did always prefer to lose, and it is funny, because I still do.  Today I wouldn’t reorder the deck in Candyland if we were playing that so I would lose, but I would still laugh at being sent back to the Peppermint Forest (or whatever it is called).

I guess in the end, I will always root for my kids to win, except at ping pong because my oldest son and I have quite a rivalry going.  I am learning as I go along that no matter how old your kids are, you are still their biggest fan, even when you are their opponent!


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos August 4, 2011 at 7:11 am

I’m just like you, Kris, a big softie. I lose intentionally at Monopoly, but always beat my youngest at Ping Pong, just not too badly. I want to raise his game level, not crush in humiliating fashion.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm

My son and I go on streaks with ping pong. Sometimes I will win for weeks, and then he will win for awhile. It is a lot of fun, and a great time to talk.

None of my kids get mad if they lose at a board game at the age they are now, but I just like it better when they win.


Moneycone August 4, 2011 at 8:26 am

I guess being a parent makes you a softie! My kid isn’t old enough to play Monopoly, but I’m sure I’ll let him win!


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I am a big mush ball, and I never thought I would be!


krantcents August 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

I think being a “softie” should be age appropriate. When my kids were young, I gave them help or breaks. As they could hold their own, I helped by pointing out strategy. I would somehow fit it in the the discussion while we were playing. They became better and eventually would beat me fair and square. Two things cam out of this, they learned how I won and we had a relationship.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I totally agree on the age appropriateness. I never saw the point in beating my kid in Candyland, which was a total game of chance, and their eyes just lit up when they got to move way up the board. As my kids have gotten older, sometimes they win and sometimes they don’t. However, I found during that Monopoly game I really hated taking their money. They weren’t complaining about it or anything, I just felt bad.


Money Beagle August 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm

When our kids get old enough, I’ll definitely let them win but not every game. My grandparents used to play games with me and they let me win all the time, and as a result, I got to be kind of a sore loser when I finally started playing against real competition.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Money Beagle, I think what you experienced is quite common. There has to be a balance so the child doesn’t think they are infallible. From your own experience, I am guessing you will strike the perfect balance.


Mike - Saving Money Today August 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I think it is natural to want to see your children excel. Mine are younger and I do go easy on them. Not long ago they were big into playing Memory Game and I let them win most of the time, but not always. Had to knock them down a bit when they started getting too cocky!

My oldest turns 7 later this month and she is getting the Disney version of Monopoly. SHHH…don’t tell her!


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I loved playing Memory. I think we still have the Pooh version of Memory in the house.

My oldest son started beating me at Memory when he was about 3, literally. He is one of those people with a near photographic memory, so I couldn’t even compete. It was a fascinating thing to watch actually.
Now that I think about it, all my kids beat me at Memory at a pretty young age, and my memory is actually pretty good. Play me in Boggle though, and that is a totally different story! 🙂 (I rock at word games.)

I won’t say a word about Disney Monopoly. I hope you have many fantastic game nights with it!


First Gen American August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

We whipped out the new chess board for my son’s birthday yesterday and he and my husband played. They chased each other around the board for quite a while and finally my husband ended it. My son cried when he lost but that’s just the reason he needs to lose once in a while.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Some kids really do need the lesson that comes with losing. Two of my kids just played games for the sake of playing. Sure, they wanted to win, but losing didn’t affect their demeanor. However, one of my kids, well that is a different story… (and no, I didn’t let that child win either for the very reasons you mentioned)


Kaycee August 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I never let my nephews win. What does that teach them? Nothing. My nephews then became determined to beat me and eventually they did. And no, I didn’t gloat. There is no pleasure in beating someone who doesn’t quite grasp the ins and outs of the game yet.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Games can be a lot of fun, and a great activity for the whole family. That is, until a sore loser evolves.

If the gloating starts, then the gloves come off and I have no problem with winning then.


Jason@LiveRealNow August 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

In my house, we play for blood, from the first time the kids attempt Memory. I’ve never let a kid win and they know it. If they pout or cry, they lose game privileges for a while. I demand good sportsmanship, win or lose.

When my son finally beat me at chess–after 3 year–he bragged for months. He was almost as proud as I was.

What sucks is playing games with his friends. They were coddled and expect to win everything. They lose game privileges just like my 3 year old. They hate that because we have the coolest board games.


Kris August 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I don’t think I have ever purposely lost a game since Candyland, but I feel bad about winning sometimes!


Jason@LiveRealNow August 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I’ve never let my kids win, but I’ve played below my level occasionally. That ends pretty quick, though. My oldest beat me at chess for the first time when he was 6. At 11, we’re pretty evenly matched.


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