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Subject: How to Deal With Quitters rss

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Geoffrey Burrell
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This week I played two games with my nieces and nephews where one of them just up and quit a game of Sorry! without any warning. He just picked up his pieces and put them back in the box. The second game that we played was Risk and a different nephew just up and quit. How do people out there deal with quitting? Do you play others games with them that they don't quit? Or what punishment would be given out if any? Thoughts?
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Dances With Militias
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Anybody who up an' quits Sorry! without so much as a "Sorry" is a low down dirty dog ain't fit for indoors sittin' with decent folk.
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Nick Stables
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It seems those games aren't suitable and maybe too punishing to be enjoyable and engaging. I applaud your nephew's maturity of picking up the pieces and putting them in the box, rather than throwing them across the room.

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jos horst
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I once played a game of chess with a nephew. He was losing. He did not resign but said he really didn't feel like playing on. After we cleared the board he suggested we play another match. Not sure he or I considered it a punishment, but I laughed really hard, and said no.
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Parry Pollock
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GeoffreyB wrote:
This week I played two games with my nieces and nephews where one of them just up and quit a game of Sorry! without any warning. He just picked up his pieces and put them back in the box. The second game that we played was Risk and a different nephew just up and quit. How do people out there deal with quitting? Do you play others games with them that they don't quit? Or what punishment would be given out if any? Thoughts?


Out of curiosity, how old are they?
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Curt Carpenter
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If kids are used to playing with toys that they can stop playing with at any time, why would they think of games as any different unless they're taught? (Which probably takes time to sink in.) So next time, explain what expectations are before starting, and ask them if they're willing to do meet them. But even if they don't, it's not a big deal. In Risk can be painful to sit through if you're in a losing position. I don't blame them!

Any way you slice it, this sounds miles away from "punishment" territory in my book.
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Curt Carpenter
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hojoh wrote:
I once played a game of chess with a nephew. He was losing. He did not resign but said he really didn't feel like playing on. After we cleared the board he suggested we play another match. Not sure he or I considered it a punishment, but I laughed really hard, and said no.

Why? Resigning in chess is actually legal, and commonly done. Why would either of you want to continue a game where one player concedes rather than play again? That's really bizarre to me. Maybe he didn't understand that "didn't feel like playing on" means resigning? (unless he means pause, which doesn't sound like what he was saying)

The OP's issue is a little different, because one player quitting a 4-player game may affect the outcome of the game for the other players.
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Rich Keiser
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I would call a tribunal. Prosecute to the fullest extent of da' law.

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Jeffrey Allers
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curtc wrote:
If kids are used to playing with toys that they can stop playing with at any time, why would they think of games as any different unless they're taught? (Which probably takes time to sink in.) So next time, explain what expectations are before starting, and ask them if they're willing to do meet them. But even if they don't, it's not a big deal. In Risk can be painful to sit through if you're in a losing position. I don't blame them!

Any way you slice it, this sounds miles away from "punishment" territory in my book.


Agree. Risk and Sorry can also both drag, and it can be obvious early on in the game that a player has no more chance to win.

I would recommend suggesting a few games from the past 10-20 years instead of those made 80+ years ago. Boardgames have changed and there are many that are shorter to play and also more engaging--and everyone is still in it until the end.

I also recommend talking about it at the beginning of the game. "This game with take about 30 minutes (or 45, or 60), and if you want to play it with me, I'd like you to play it to the end, OK?"

Although I am also not afraid to end a game early if it's obvious that everyone else is not having fun with it. I have enough games to choose from, that I can usually find something else they might like.
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T. Dauphin
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jeffinberlin wrote:
curtc wrote:
If kids are used to playing with toys that they can stop playing with at any time, why would they think of games as any different unless they're taught? (Which probably takes time to sink in.) So next time, explain what expectations are before starting, and ask them if they're willing to do meet them. But even if they don't, it's not a big deal. In Risk can be painful to sit through if you're in a losing position. I don't blame them!

Any way you slice it, this sounds miles away from "punishment" territory in my book.


Agree. Risk and Sorry can also both drag, and it can be obvious early on in the game that a player has no more chance to win.

I would recommend suggesting a few games from the past 10-20 years instead of those made 80+ years ago. Boardgames have changed and there are many that are shorter to play and also more engaging--and everyone is still in it until the end.

I also recommend talking about it at the beginning of the game. "This game with take about 30 minutes (or 45, or 60), and if you want to play it with me, I'd like you to play it to the end, OK?"

Although I am also not afraid to end a game early if it's obvious that everyone else is not having fun with it. I have enough games to choose from, that I can usually find something else they might like.


Agree with both of these.
The only thing I would add would be an emphasis on the effect it has on the others. Something along the lines of, "When you play a game with other people the other people expect that you will play to the end, so we think it a respectful thing to play a game right to the end unless you talk about it with everybody and agree to stop."

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Mike Robel
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When I read the title I thought it said QUILTERS. I would say carefully the have sharp tools. Let them by material like you buy war games.

Oh. QUITTERS! Depends on the age. Try to get them to stay in and explain the difference between quitting, resigning, and losing. Tell them these things can go on for a while. Take a break and come back.
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Robert Doolan
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I agree with Mike, we have had the same issues in the past. Normally for us a break, some food and drink, a chat about the issue causing the quitting then decide what to do. Some times it is better to quickly finish a game rather than turn it into more and risk getting them offside.

Not a big fan of those games though. : )
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James Clarke
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GeoffreyB wrote:
Do you play others games with them that they don't quit? Or what punishment is to make everyone suffer for would be given out if any? Thoughts?

A suitable punishment for such a misdeed, would be to make everyone suffer the consequences. Another game of Sorry, perhaps?
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Mike Jones
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Punishment? At the end of the day it is just a game. If you are playing games with your nephews and nieces everyone is winning already.

But you can introduce them to eddicate. Jyst explain to them quoting in some games to some people is wrong.

I personally never want to quit a game and have instilled that in my child. Last night my son was having hard luck with dice, but everyone else wanted to learn a game that was dice heavy. They explained to him if it gets to a point that he is frustrated and not having fun, we could all quit. He said if we start, he won't quit because we don't quit games. But I am sure they quit plenty when they were younger. Can't say cause it was part of being with my children and them learning.
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April Parekh
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Take a break from playing and have some snacks gets my vote.

Those are long boring games (IMHO). I loathe playing Sorry. Someone is always sorry when we play and half of the time, it's me. If they aren't throwing the pieces and walk away, I wouldn't punish them. Obviously they aren't having fun.

There are lots of different things that could be going on there. They may be young and still learning to deal with their emotions. They may be used to video games or to playing alone and not used to interaction. They may just not like the game.

I suggest picking out a game that is easy, quick, and fun next time you visit them and see how it goes. A lot of people just don't realize how many awesome games they are and they think they are restricted to Monopoly, Sorry, Candyland, and the like. I would at least pick a short game to play with them next time.
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Olaf Slomp
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I think the OP already gave the solution himself: play other (better) games that they won’t quit!
Modern games offer so many better alternatives; although it’s not great sportsmanship, I really can’t blame them from quitting a game of Sorry or Risk.
 
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Dan Renwick
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If it was just once or twice it wouldn't bother me. If they started to make a habit of it, I'd tell them that I won't play games with them if they keep quitting. No big deal. There's a good chance they just don't like the games.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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My son (nearly 6yo) has over recent weeks developed a much stronger notion of winning and losing and will go into major sulk mode whenever he doesn't get his way. I don't play to lose either (although I will handicap myself if the balance is genuinely, insurmountably off), so he has to earn a victory.

I haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do with this, but here's a few things I am doing atm: Whenever he suggests a game now, I make absolutely certain that losing may hit him too. I always present a clear choice during the game: either he stops sulking, mans up and continues, or we all quit there and then and he can go do something else without me; and no, that may not be something on my phone, nor on the TV. When I lose, I show how I deal with that *)—monkey see, monkey do. I point out that under certain circumstances he has already won the game, even if everything goes my way from that point onwards, thus making it appear as though I'm certainly going to win.

I suppose it's part of growing up, and beginning to realise that a game is not just an activity of going through some odd-looking motions. Which suggests that kind reinforcement of desired behaviour is, as per usual, the correct way of dealing with quitters.



*) I throw a temper tantrum, and fling pieces all across the room, of course meeple.

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I don't know "Sorry" and don't know which age your nieces and nephews are, but I do know that Risk is a game where you can already know who is going to win (or at least who is going to lose) in the early game, and I do know grown ups who at least articulate that they don't want to go on playing.

As others have said, try a more modern boardgame. I'm sure if you tell us the age of those two, plenty of ideas will be coming.

Without knowing (and seeing that Risk can be played with 8 year olds), I suggest Small World as an alternative to Risk. It plays much faster, you can still win if you fall behind in the beginning, and it actually has more strategy.

On Boardgamegeek, Sorry has a Rating of 4.5, and Risk of 5.6. That are bad ratings.

Also, kids have to learn losing, and high conflict games like Risk might not be the right way to do it.
 
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Stuart Holttum
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GeoffreyB wrote:
Or what punishment would be given out if any? Thoughts?


Hmmm. Foisting inappropriate and lengthy old-school games on children who haven't developed the skills for dealing with boredom and defeat, and wanting verification that for wanting to politely stop you should penalise them?

I can think of a couple punishments....or did you mean for them, not you?
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Stuart Holttum
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More seriously, losing gracefully is a skill that has to be learned, as is the fortitude to continue with a lengthy game that you are bored with and can see you have no hope of winning. Even adult gamers will sometimes struggle to deal with those situations, so I'd certainly not punish children - especially other people's children - for not yet having learned those skills.

Not every person will like every game, and as adults it is VERY much incumbent on us to introduce children to the world of games with games that are, first and foremost, FUN for them. Games shouldn't be a chore - we rarely if ever play games ourselves that we don't enjoy, so why force it on children? I can think of nothing more guaranteed to put a child off gaming than be made to playa game they don't enjoy, and be punished if they don't want to continue.

Find the games they like, first, and then the learning to lose can come. It's far easier to lose a game you like, because then you've had the enjoyment of the experience to mollify the loss.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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One of my nephews is 5 and the other one is 10.
 
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Josh
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IMHO a 5 y.o. should not be playing any game that has any possibility of going longer than 20 minutes, and even that may be optimistic. Generic discussions about good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette are OK but should be gentle and short. Punishment in any form should not enter in to these situations at that age. If the game isn’t age-appropriate the child is set up to fail, and that is not fair to the child.

I think it’s fair to expect a 10 y.o. to exhibit basic gaming manners, but those should be modeled or explicitly discussed. There is no learning in a vacuum.
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A 5 year old? For the sake of everyone's sanity, personal development and world peace in general, take a dive and throw the game. They'll have their entire adult lives to learn what losing means.
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April Parekh
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Yep. My little guy just turned 6. Qwixx is a hit with him, Rat-a-tat Cat, My First Bonanza, Blokus, Sleeping Queens, Sushi Go, Forbidden Island...something short or a coop would be a good choice. He can play Sorry and Trouble with his 8 year old sister (I refuse to play) but it usually doesn't end well. My son is still at the age where he would prefer to throw things but of course if he throws any pieces, we are done playing. That doesn't happen much now. (He will still occasionally try to throw marbles at his sister when I'm not looking wow).
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