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What the Game of Monopoly Tells Kids About Life

December 22, 2015
Plain English Version


The question is should you let your child win at Monopoly? Most experts say if the child is older than four years of age the answer is ‘no.’

Monopoly is the real estate board game played all over the world. It has been around for more than 80 years. Families have been playing board games together for years.

The people who say not to let the kids win the game say it helps them learn how the real world works. Can you play for real and still help your child compete? Most say yes. Sometimes you have to change the rules to help the child. For example, a ‘do over.’ Or you can tell your child where she is going wrong before she makes an error.

In the end, the child learns much more by losing than winning every time. For one thing, they learn to deal with loss. No crying, no hysterics when things do not go their way.

Experts say that by five or six, kids are learning about competition. They are also gaining skills every day. They learn to figure odds. They begin to understand strategies. It is not surprising that these changes make them want to win more. They have the energy and the desire to compete.

Parents should respond by taking the games seriously. Kids know when you are faking.

At the Monopoly Company, they say Monopoly is a game of skill and luck. Adults want to win too. Done the right way kids can get a thrill. Letting the child win is a bad idea. You have to lose to know how great it is to win.

Being a good parent is about getting this right.

Source: The Wall Street Journal December 16, 2015

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