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Parent Furs - Teach a smart kid how to deal with jealousy

DrakkenWulf

Parent Fur
Have an older kid problem. My daughter is wicked smart. She wins every board game we play. She’s getting angry that we are all angry with her for being this good/lucky.
How do I teach her that she’s going to have to face this for the rest of her life? That she really is the smartest person in the room and many people will resent her for it?

-What- do I teach her? I don’t want to teach her to dumb it down; but it’s getting to her that we are all angry.
The only thing she can control is her reactions. She already does a good job of doing her own thing, but she’s not used to people being angry with her for being herself. This is also why we are not changing our behavior- the world certainly won’t.

It's already bad enough that she's going to have to deal with a world of men who will always underestimate her. Now she's going to also deal with men and women who will hate her for being smart too.

What do I teach?
 

Jaredthefox92

Banned
Banned
Have an older kid problem. My daughter is wicked smart. She wins every board game we play. She’s getting angry that we are all angry with her for being this good/lucky.
How do I teach her that she’s going to have to face this for the rest of her life? That she really is the smartest person in the room and many people will resent her for it?

-What- do I teach her? I don’t want to teach her to dumb it down; but it’s getting to her that we are all angry.
The only thing she can control is her reactions. She already does a good job of doing her own thing, but she’s not used to people being angry with her for being herself. This is also why we are not changing our behavior- the world certainly won’t.

It's already bad enough that she's going to have to deal with a world of men who will always underestimate her. Now she's going to also deal with men and women who will hate her for being smart too.

What do I teach?

Play a dice game with her, give her a "taste" of a game she can lose in. She really needs to realize that you cannot win all the time.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Are you trying to be playful about it? Or are you seriously getting riled up over it? I personally don't think the issue is her if you or anyone else doesn't have a sense of sportsmanship. I play to play and have fun. I don't care if I don't win. If something like a game gets to me, I take a deep breath and sign off. I'm not about to chew someone out for being better at it than me.

It sounds really toxic to essentially gang up on someone (especially your own child) just because they are successful. You could just simply explain that other people are going to sometimes be envious or jealous of something they don't have WITHOUT doing all of that. Just like she will be/has been to others.

If the board game is all chance, then just say 'you got lucky this time. But next time..." ;)
If the game requires skill/knowledge/strategy, I don't know why you wouldn't want to be proud of that.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
If you're getting angry because she's smart enough to consistently beat you at games, that's your problem, not hers. Yeah she'll have to learn how to deal people who are jealous of her intelligence but that's no reason to tell her she shouldn't use her talents to her full potential.

As for how she should handle people who are jealous of her talents? If they're her competition, defeat them and rise above them. If they're her boss, find a better job at a better company. If they're neither, then ignore them. Be the best person she can be and leave those who are jealous of her in the dust.

I'm not saying she shouldn't have a bit of humility and compassion. Being intelligent doesn't make her a better human being than anyone else. What she does determines that. A great way to put her intelligence to work to build up those around her is to teach others what she knows, especially if they're family, fellow students or co-workers.

That said, it's not her responsibility to make those who are jealous feel better. It's their responsibility to grow up and accept her for who she really is.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Have an older kid problem. My daughter is wicked smart. She wins every board game we play. She’s getting angry that we are all angry with her for being this good/lucky.
How do I teach her that she’s going to have to face this for the rest of her life? That she really is the smartest person in the room and many people will resent her for it?

-What- do I teach her? I don’t want to teach her to dumb it down; but it’s getting to her that we are all angry.
The only thing she can control is her reactions. She already does a good job of doing her own thing, but she’s not used to people being angry with her for being herself. This is also why we are not changing our behavior- the world certainly won’t.

It's already bad enough that she's going to have to deal with a world of men who will always underestimate her. Now she's going to also deal with men and women who will hate her for being smart too.

What do I teach?

You mean what does SHE teach? <smile> I am a parent of 2, and I would rephrase the question "Why are you angry when your daughter wins, instead of happy for or proud of, depending on the level of skill/luck required?" That's an odd reaction to me. If you get angry when you lose a simple game, one to a presumably-loved family member at that, then she is not the one with the issue that needs a lesson to be taught to me...you are. And since you refuse to change and stand firm on it, all you're teaching her are "some people are assholes occasionally for no reason", and I'm sure she's figured that out already in life in general. <lol>

But as to how to deal with being smart and having people jealous? She will simply learn that if their opinion of her is based on sole jealousy then it's irrelevant, and they don't matter. Smart goes a long way, and the relationship's she'll form will be better because of her intelligence, so don't worry...those that hate her for her brains simply aren't worth her by definition. I think she'll make out ok.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
If you get mad at people for being better than you, that sounds like a "you" problem. Maybe you should be proud that your kid has so much potential?
 

Jackpot Raccuki

Fucking Racon
Teach her that she is a gifted child and to not let it get to her that people are jealous and mad.

If she’s as smart as you make her out to be id care for her like a rose.
Yes, that means get the shotgun ready to scare the boyfriends, because protective father.


Or destroy her at monopoly.
 

DrakkenWulf

Parent Fur
First, thank you all for the replies.
Second, I’m well aware that me getting angry over losing is a “me” issue, not hers.
Thank you for echoing several thoughts I’ve already tried to offer her that she has so far ignored:

- Find people at her level
- teach us to get better
- do not “dumb yourself down” for our sake
- I would love for the world to change to suit her, but that won’t happen
She comes back to the table every day (and because COVID, literally every single day for twelve months) which proves she’s willing. Maybe the right answer is for all of us to take a break from the games entirely.
 

DrakkenWulf

Parent Fur
Incidentally, the games list:
Ticket to Ride
Catan
That’s all we’ve played consistently since we got them at Christmas.
Other games we have but are more balanced in who wins:
Clue
Monopoly- she gets frustrated at this one because once the locations are purchased, trading to make monopolies is really difficult.
Mastermind- I learned a Whole different strategy from her, but she didn’t teach it, I implied it

the kids now refuse to play games that have few/no choice.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
Mmm... might I recommend more chance based games that do not require scheming / planning? Like maybe LIFE, Yahtzee, or Pictionary. These games are still fun but you’re not trying to purposely screw over your family members, like in Clue or Monopoly. If the kids are against this type of game, I would tell them it’s this or no games because the games aren’t fun when everyone is upset about it. If everyone is upset, might as well not play at all.

As a side note, if she’s as gifted as you say, maybe try channeling her gifts into Poker. See how well she does at that. I’m totally serious; the challenge of playing her opponent might be really fun for her. I would recommend teaching it 1 on 1, though.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
If you can’t resolve the you issue about, frankly, being a sore loser, it’s time to put down the board games for a while and/or look into different games. Coming back to the table when that’s the family activity for the night could just as easily be about, well, that being the family activity for the night.

You’re telling her the world won’t change for her, but if she wants to participate in family board game night she essentially has to change for you, or deal with a parent being angry because she’s good at something. Have you asked her why she doesn’t feel that your advice will solve her problem? Sometimes it’s about talking with people rather than talking at them, and that’s especially true if she’s in/near her teens (you didn’t mention the kids’ ages). Maybe her anger/frustration is more about feeling like your reaction is unfair or punishing her for something that’s not her fault. At that point telling her not to dumb herself down for you can feel like sending mixed messages. (Note that’s just a possibility; I don’t know what’s going on in your kid’s head.)

It’s not really much of a surprise that she’s not big on Monopoly - I’m the only person I really know who enjoys it, and I’m not competitive at all. I just like the journey, and give zero shits about who wins. Everyone else in my circle of friends hates it. There’s cooperative board games out there that may suit you better, since it’s not pitting you against each other. (Pictionary is also a good suggestion, tbh, unless you think you’ll still get angry if you lose.) Boyfriend is better versed in board games than I, so I asked him for some suggestions for cooperative games:

Hanabi
Lord of the Rings
Pandemic (might feel a bit gauche atm, though)
Forbidden Desert
Forbidden Island

There’s also an entire site dedicated to cooperative board games: https://coopboardgames.com/

Boyfriend also says that your daughter would probably enjoy Zendo if she likes Mastermind. It’s quite possible to make your own pieces out of craft paper. It might not be a suitable game for you to play with her, though, if you get frustrated playing Mastermind with her.

I also like Fluxx, which does take a bit of thinking and is competitive, but has the potential to at least be fairly evenly matched. IMO jigsaw puzzles can also be a really nice family activity.
 
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Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
First, thank you all for the replies.
Second, I’m well aware that me getting angry over losing is a “me” issue, not hers.
Thank you for echoing several thoughts I’ve already tried to offer her that she has so far ignored:

- Find people at her level
- teach us to get better
- do not “dumb yourself down” for our sake
- I would love for the world to change to suit her, but that won’t happen
She comes back to the table every day (and because COVID, literally every single day for twelve months) which proves she’s willing. Maybe the right answer is for all of us to take a break from the games entirely.

Thoughts she's "ignored"??? Let's look closely at them for a second:

"find people at her level". That's not one you can ignore, you either have them around you or you don't. Since you refuse to change, she simply CAN'T find people on her level. At least at her home anyway it seems, she's too mature and smart.

-"Teach us to get better". Oh, so now it's HER fault you're a sore loser? SHE has to fix that for you? <rolls eyes> Oh please...that's one she has to ignore becasue it's dumb.
Or if you mean better as in "better at the game" as opposed to "better at losing graciously", then again that's on you...practice more and curb the anger. It's just a game.

-No dumbing down", agrees, she should never have to do that. You say she isn't either. Good, that' some advice she should ignore.

"let the world change for her". You proved even from trusted loved family members some people are nails in the road. What she hopefully HAS learned though is that most people are not like you, and appreciate her skills and luck and have perspective and control over their anger.


Of course she's ignoring those advices...they are all coming from the wrong place. She probably comes back becasue she has HOPE...hope that maybe, just maybe, this time you'll play like a sane person as opposed to a sore loser. Stop taking the fun away from her games with you, and stop trying to make it HER problem. She's doing just fine in everything here...she's the mature one...this is totally on you. Fix yourself and stop blaming her for your issues and you'll probably find things work out much better all around.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
To add to my earlier post: Have you, in speaking to her, actually, explicitly, said something like “I’m a sore loser, and that’s my failing; I’m sorry it ends up affecting you?” Acknowledging your own faults as faults helps establish that you may be getting angry/jealous, but you don’t place the blame for your reaction on her.

Or if you mean better as in "better at the game" as opposed to "better at losing graciously", then again that's on you...practice more and curb the anger. It's just a game.
I will grant that asking her to teach game tactics isn’t the worst idea ever if it’s approached as “you are good at this thing, and I would love for you to teach me.” Being able to genuinely and humbly ask for help learning a specific task, and allowing her to be the authority on the subject, can be a positive interaction. The key is that it’s a specific request, not a “help me be better at this.” Like... “could you please explain how you decide on where to place your starting pieces in Settlers of Catan? You’re really good at it and I’d like to learn.”

It’s also quite possible, of course, that she’s reading into the suggestion something of a... “teach me how to beat you so I don’t have to deal with losing to you.” Which is neither flattering or giving her credit for her skill; instead it creates a situation where parental approval appears to be conditional on the parental figure being her better.

Again, I’m certainly not privy to her thoughts, just working off of basic reasoning around how people tick and how things can be interpreted.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Might I suggest Apples to Apples? That's a fun, clean family game that's fun to play but not overly competitive.

I'm glad you didn't take offense at my post. I think I let a bit more venom in it than I should have. Sorry for that.
 

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー
Half joke but half serious--make her play StarCraft(or SC2)

If she still beats you, you should feel proud...

If nope, let her be the only one on her team and gang on her. If she still beats your team, well... You should really feel proud! ÒwÓ
ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ ㅡ
Aside from this SC thing... I personally don't see this as much of a problem. Although it can be natural for you to feel worried of potential consequences on your daughter, that's ultimately her life! As a child of the overly-intervening-and-controlling parents, I think it's better to leave her be, unless she thinks she needs your guidance at some point.
I personally consider it crucial for one to bump stuffs on one's face sometimes, shields won't train one's strength in every case, according to my short-yet-relevant experiences... Everyone know themselves best, so shall they find answers that best fit for themselves, ultimately. Same goes for your daughter, as a being holding her own ego.

Well, my opinion. Yes, I'm not a parent, I can't say I'm in your boots but.. At least this is the perspective of a child, I might say? UwU

No matter what lies in the future, I wish you and your daughter be happy without too much burdens on each other. Same goes for the rest of your family Ow<☆

Oh, so.. the short answer!
Teach her that you're by her side and are rooting for her. While she can pave her own path, there should always be a shelter for her--which is you.
 
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Wodenofthegays

Fascist Dictator
If yall are getting upset losing, play cooperative games - like @quoting_mungo suggested - and listen to her when she suggests what to do.

She already knows she's going to lose in this world. Ya'll are just teaching her that people will resent her when she succeeds. This can cause problems with perfectionism and anxiety when it comes to success. I've had to teach a lot of children that its okay to succeed outside of the home and to also feel good about it because they live in an environment where success is seen as zero sum and where somebody always has to lose.

IMO, cooperative board games are much better anyway, and all of the board games you mentioned are either meant to be competitive or meant to make the losing players feel bad. Part of the problem might just be that yall are playing games that are meant to be bad or meant to make you feel bad - yall are playing games that are zero sum.

Pandemic has been mentioned. She might figure out how to beat it really easily pretty quickly, so you can move on to the Pandemic Legacy games when yall start to feel like she's telling yall to do the same thing every game.

Robinson Crusoe is also good. She won't get good at this one quickly, and if she does just start a new scenario/game.

You can play the cooperative rule variants of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, or you can also just homebrew some rules so that your daughter is always against the Cylons and everyone else gets picked at random.

Dead of Winter is good, and you can just take out the worst traitor cards or just force your daughter to not take any.

The Captain is Dead is one I've heard is good, and I've also heard a lot about Gloomhaven being good.

The Mind is a decent card game. The Game is another gem in a similar vein.

Maybe the right answer is for all of us to take a break from the games entirely.
If yall quit when yall are upset yall are not teaching her good things.

(EDIT: You can quit when you're not enjoying it, but yall are wanting to quit just because she wins)

Teach her to be a social problem-solver, not a quitter.

I say this all as an educator who hates that most classrooms only have like Apples to Apples because of this exact problem.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
If yall quit when yall are upset yall are not teaching her good things.

I don't think they meant quitting forever, but rather, taking a break from board games for the sake of taking a break. They seem to have been playing them A LOT since quarantine! Which is kinda nice to hear. Most stories I hear are about how families are torn being apart from the isolating.
 

Jaredthefox92

Banned
Banned
Incidentally, the games list:
Ticket to Ride
Catan
That’s all we’ve played consistently since we got them at Christmas.
Other games we have but are more balanced in who wins:
Clue
Monopoly- she gets frustrated at this one because once the locations are purchased, trading to make monopolies is really difficult.
Mastermind- I learned a Whole different strategy from her, but she didn’t teach it, I implied it

the kids now refuse to play games that have few/no choice.

My man, I know this is a bit fanboy of me saying this, but Warhammer maybe what you're looking for. It's expensive, but there's so many armies and units to choose from and even a terminator can miss every shot at point blank range of a tiny gretchin so luck wouldn't be always on your daughter's side, but rather risk mitigation. Also yes, kids can play Warhammer, as long as they don't smash the models. There's actually a big push from Games Workshop to incorporate the demograph atm. Just let her play "noble" races like space marines, battle sisters, or Imperial Guard. Keep her away from the evil Chaos stuff, but maybe she can try Tau or Eldar.

If she doesn't like space tanks and space guns, you can always try Age of Sigmar. It's very high fantasy at this point and tbh way watered down than it used to be in Warhammer Fantasy. There's plenty of "whimsical" races out there, plus there's races like lizardmen and now skypirate dwarfs with balloons and guns
 

DrakkenWulf

Parent Fur
Thanks again everyone! Figured this was a good place to ask about games.

we made a modification to Catan that helped - you place two settlements to start. First one goes in order, but second we reverse order. This evens out first pick vs. last pick.

yea, we can’t wait for it to warm up so we can get out of the house and do something like bikes.

thanks for all the game suggestions too!
 
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