Monday, June 4, 2012

Do you let your clowns win?

As you all know I have three clowns, and with that comes challenges, of all kinds.
And lately I've been debating on if I should let my clowns win.

We recently purchased a real adjustable outdoor basketball goal for the clowns. The boy clown loves it and is really pretty good considering his age. While my girls are just out there to have a little fun, the boy is out for blood.

I recently read something that said parents should fill a child up with so much self esteem that the world will never be able to drain them of it.

Here's my problem. My son lacks this self esteem. I'm not sure if this is my fault or not. I'm sure in a few years when he's laying on the couch costing my $120 an hour explaining to some Dr. Phil wanna be, it will surely be my fault.

Back to letting them win.

It's because of his lack of self esteem that I often feel obligated to let him win we play something, particularly basketball. It's turned out to be his favorite sport.
Now I don't mind loosing to the boy at this stage in our lives. I feel like he needs it. He needs me. It does get a little embarrassing when he yells out IS THAT ALL YOU GOT SUGAR PUFF after I miss a shot, but for the most part I feel like this is good for him.

So what's the right thing to do? Should I let him win to help build his self esteem. To help him understand that he can do anything he puts his mind to? Or should I beat him and help him to understand that not everything in life is just handed to us. And if you want to win you have to put the time and effort into it?

What about you? Do you let your clowns win or do you dominate and let them learn the hard way?



  1. I always let my children win when they were younger. I wanted them to have fun and learn how to play. As they got older I made it harder for them to win. Now, even with my 7 year old, I don't have to lose on purpose during certain games. Winning created a good atmosphere for playing and learning, but they also have to learn to accept defeat, gracefully. I'm reading Moneyball right now. Billy Beane didn't know how to lose, so when the competition got fierce in professional baseball, he couldn't handle it. Losing is inevitable; we should also teach our children how to do that well.

  2. I do both. Sometimes I let Bud win and others I kick his ass...I mean...I don't let him win. He does have a problem with losing gracefully (he's 5 but if he doesn't learn now when will he?) so I make sure he doesn't always win.

    We have the added dynamic now of his sister. Babe understands that Bud wins all the time and I do worry about the self-esteem issue. I know how I felt with my older sister, she was smarter and prettier and funnier, you name it. It's not to say I'm not well-adjusted now but I still feel pain remembering those times.

    For me, I've decided I have to balance it for both of them. A little winning, a little losing, just so they know either is possible.

    Good luck.

  3. A little of both. The winning boosts that self esteem and the losing lets them know they have to keep working, keep learning, keep improving to succeed. Yeah, I have no advice for you to tell you where that line of balance is! Just another parenthood struggle...