I like to win. I hate to lose. That’s just a part of who I am. I took the Gallop Strengths Finder test a few years ago and found out that Competition is considered one of my top 5 strengths. I have never seen competition as a strength. I struggle when I lose and on occasion have been a poor sport. Upon winning, I have been known to perform a dance and chant that would rival many professional football players in the end zone.
When my kids were young, I had to constantly tell myself “it’s OK to lose. They are only 3 years old.” I literally used self-talk to back off from beating them at Candyland or Hi Ho Cherrio. (For those of you gasping, obviously Competition isn’t one of your strengths/struggles.) I had to learn to lose to my toddlers. When they started learning strategy and skills, I let myself have a bit of fun and fully engage in games again. Now, they legit beat me at Clue, Monopoly, and card games. We just got a ping pong table and I’m already at a disadvantage. They are good athletes and took to the game quickly. My killer serve is easily returned. Ugh. We are a game playing family.
I have come to learn that my Competition strength leads me to excel and strive for excellence in all areas of my life. It is definitely a good thing. However, when it comes to playing games as a family, my unhealthy need to win often rears its ugly head. I see this same need in my middle daughter. She is a true competitor. She rarely loses, even in games of chance. She and I can have a nice time playing games until one of us snaps because we lost one too many. We both have had times where an apology was necessary.
Why do I write about this today? Because I want to encourage you to dust off an old board game and enjoy time with your family. If you are a family of one, invite friends over for an old-fashioned game night. If you are empty nesters, dust off those Yahtzee dice and turn off Wheel of Fortune. If you have littles, try a simple game or two that fits their skill level and attention span. Laughter always surrounds board games. My daughter had 5 kids in our game of Life yesterday. So she got a 2nd car and put it on top of the other car to make a double-decker van. It’s a time for silliness and relaxing. To keep us entertained during a lull in the games, we have been playing music in the background as well. Sometimes we take a break to listen, dance or sing-a-long. (OK I do that and my kids roll their eyes.)
Enjoy the air conditioning (it’s 100 degrees where I live right now) and enjoy one another. Too hot to be outside, so relax with an old-fashioned game time. I hope you get double sixes on every roll and make it to Millionaires acres.