It was very obvious he was strategizing, looking a move or two ahead (I was impressed!). I knew he wanted to win (of course!). I acknowledged him for how well he was playing - how he was planning what moves to make and that I enjoyed how he was making me really think. When I had more kings then he did he took one of the crowns off my king and hid it. I mentioned the change I saw and he looked around for the checker when I saw it in his hand. He knew I saw it.
“What would I teach him?” popped up.
Again I told him how well he was playing figuring out his next move. I let him know he was challenging me to be a good player. Then I said I didn’t like that he wasn’t honest about what he did to my king to which he replied, “You don’t like that I cheated.” I said in a neutral voice, “I know you want to win, I just don’t like you weren’t honest with me.” To me there is a difference, a difference I didn’t go into with him as it wasn’t the time or place.
We continued to play and when I had more kings than him he suddenly ended the game. In my past I would have been told I was a sore loser and felt shamed. I didn’t want nor need to do that to him. I understood he was frustrated, he played his best, that he wanted to win, and he was 7 years old.
“What would I teach him?”
I thanked him once again for a good game. I told him he was really good at strategizing (saying this differently a few times) and how much he made me think, challenged me to do my best, and that I enjoyed playing with him.
What would he have learned if I let him win and not challenge him to be his best? What would he have learned if I shamed him?
Each of us, whether speaking with another person or to ourselves, is teaching.
What would you teach?
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