Wednesday, 17 August 2016


The board game 'Risk' is one I well remember, my two brothers and I would sometimes play it.

It always ended in tears.    Mine, of course.   It is a game of strategy, so I was doomed to failure from the start.  I never learned to play the game well, nor did I learn to avoid it.  We had some royal set-to's.

Eventually the game disappeared.

My own (now adult) children certainly got very competitive with one another over board games although I made sure that I didn't buy 'Risk'.  Not so much because of the family, more that I didn't trust myself not to regress to childish behaviour if/when I lost, as I surely would have done.

They competed for the biggest, the best, to be the first, to sit in the front passenger seat of the car, anything at all.

Little darlings.  Ha!

Learning how to lose with dignity is difficult and one has a great deal more sympathy for children who struggle with this, than with an adult who should surely have learnt something of this skill along their way through life.

It takes time and patience but it is a lesson worth teaching well.  We don't want to smother the desire to win but it is important to learn how to handle both winning and losing.

Always do your best, but be aware that sometimes others may be better than you.  Acknowledge their success, then try harder next time.

This applies whether you are an athlete, a chess player, running the egg and spoon race or are competing in the Great British Bake Off.

Sore losers, who blame their failure on anything but themselves,  reveal a lot about their lack of maturity, self discipline and perspective.

Accept responsibly for your own failings, learn from your mistakes, stay positive and strive to be kind in victory or defeat.

This is something which my grandchildren are having to learn.   I watch their openly expressed emotions and frustration and I am grateful that their parents have to do the bulk of the work.



  1. Some very true thoughts there, people should learn to loose gracefully as well as win.

    1. Hello Bill, It is such an important lesson, one in which some adults would do well to update their skills!
      Thank you for the wonderful Lancaster photographs.

  2. This post did make me laugh. I too remember the stupendous tantrums my brother used to have while playing Risk! The board, markers and cards were strewn across the room and it was always me that had to pick them up. It was so frustrating as it could take hours to play.
    I would always say I'm not playing with you as you don't like to lose. He's still very competitive even today. Cludo and Monopoly were equally as bad.
    Those were the days, gosh what games will your Grandchildren play :)

  3. We like the board game Catan. I dont know if you can get it in the uk...

    My nephew is excellent. And talks my niece through things, "dont worry, when you are big like me you will be better at it. I am 2 years older than you and have had 2 years more practice, let me show you what I did". I dont know where that comes from, but she did stop crying. My nephew also, goes around and shakes everyones hand and says either well done or good try, good effort. Maybe it is something they do at his football team?

  4. Hello Prunella, Goodness, he does sound competitive. I regret to say that my bad behaviour consisted of me stalking off, stomping my feet as I went. Given that one of nicknames was 'Nellie the Elephant', you can imagine what that was like..."off she went with a stomp, stomp, stomp".

    Hello Sol, Your nephew sounds a delight - if only someone had explained that it was the four and a half year and seven year age gap which made things more difficult for me! Even the small amount of viewing I have done of the Olympics has shown me that there are some athletes out there who could take lessons from him.

    It is our village show this weekend, that gets pretty competitive too. Watch this space.


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