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Subject: Cheating: Makes ya not want to play.... rss

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Val
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quill65 wrote:
Here's a thought: the next time you pull out that game to play, ask the kids whether they want to play with cheating allowed, or not. If they play with cheating allowed, then you get to cheat too. I would imagine that the game will be a lot less fun, since the mechanics will be completely broken. After the game, discuss it, and ask if it was fun playing that way? Was there any challenge? Did the "winner" feel good about winning? If not, then offer to play the game again without cheating, and ask the same questions afterward.


I think that variant could devolve into into silly giggling and an inside family joke, depending on how you handle it. Maybe a silly penalty if one gets caught and awkward biggest cheater crown if they win.

I’m not a fan of cheating, but I’d also distinguish that this a game, not real life, and that I expect everyone to be honest and fair at other times, including more think-y games which demonstrate skill, sports, schoolwork, and well ... just about everything. The 11-yr old knows better, the 7-yr old possibly feels at a disadvantage.

Another option, just tell the older child he doesn’t have to play but he still has to be present with family and converse with all of you for the hour. He can help the younger one. My guess is he’d choose to play.
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Henk Bouman
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easy: No cheating and no mid game rule changes (mostly favors her).
We play a game with the rules for that game. If you don't want to play that game, no problem! We do something else.

You can win and lose games, that shouldn't change the idea about the game.
The game isn't getting better if you cheat or change the rules midgame.
Win or lose we have a great time or do something else.

We give each other a hand, say congrats and start the next game.

Father of a 9 year old girl.
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Mr Osterman
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Quote:


This is part of the problem. If your children feel forced to play they aren't going to be open to play fairly or learn any real lessons from the play. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I'd say that perhaps you need to find another activity that they want to partake in. It's the same thing I say to people who are trying to get their significant others to play board games when there is a bit of hesitance there - forcing the game is going to make it worse.


Yeah, and my kids are so hard to read on that front. This game was going to be a play of UnFair because I said "wanna play a game?" and my 11 year old picked it out. We swapped to Quacks when the 7 year old wanted to play and there is just too much reading in UnFair for her.

Someday I'll figure out the right game and the right pitch to get them all to the table.




Quote:
EDIT: I'd also add that if they feel like playing is a chore there are no real repercussions for cheating, since they likely wouldn't care if you stopped playing. With school and other more important activities there are more serious repercussions, so I wouldn't equate cheating at a board game with dad to cheating on a test at school.


My son and I talked about that last night, and I did emphasize the importance of reputation. Bending the rules in a game is a start but it speaks to a willingness to bend the rules another way. Slipping a peak a chips at a game table with dad so you don't have to feel bad about losing, is not that far from sneaking a peak at a classmate's quiz so you don't have to feel bad about getting a D.

It's not that I would say "yep, he's gonna cheat on tests" but if you cheat on the little things, what's to stop you on big things? Or rather, if you're willing to bend the rules in a low stakes, what will be your mental calculus in a large one, when something like a college scholarship is on the line?

To his credit, he came clean, and confessed a bit to "I wanted to see what would happen if I got a perfect turn" and I mostly believe him. I think he's also coming around to the idea that some of these games are really fun and maybe the threat of "no more games" got to him a bit.

Tonight, though, it's semi-co-op, Treasure Island where I fully expect to be outfoxed a few times.
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Jesse Miller
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Quote:
My son and I talked about that last night, and I did emphasize the importance of reputation. Bending the rules in a game is a start but it speaks to a willingness to bend the rules another way. Slipping a peak a chips at a game table with dad so you don't have to feel bad about losing, is not that far from sneaking a peak at a classmate's quiz so you don't have to feel bad about getting a D.

It's not that I would say "yep, he's gonna cheat on tests" but if you cheat on the little things, what's to stop you on big things? Or rather, if you're willing to bend the rules in a low stakes, what will be your mental calculus in a large one, when something like a college scholarship is on the line?

To his credit, he came clean, and confessed a bit to "I wanted to see what would happen if I got a perfect turn" and I mostly believe him. I think he's also coming around to the idea that some of these games are really fun and maybe the threat of "no more games" got to him a bit.

Tonight, though, it's semi-co-op, Treasure Island where I fully expect to be outfoxed a few times.
It seems that you have a good handle on this here and the important thing is that you talked to him and seemingly got through to him. He may not have been totally honest on how much cheating and why (or he may have been completely honest!), but if he's not then that's likely more to do with embarrassment than anything else.

Good luck!
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A M
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To echo another poster, you didn't ask for advice, nor should you. You're obviously a conscientious parent, and I 100% get why this would be frustrating. But you got this! The kids will come along, and you will be able to teach these lessons, guaranteed.

If you're interested in unsolicited further thoughts, many of which have been touched on by replies above, read on. Otherwise, no worries.

- As another poster mentioned, as a parent it's hard to resist the urge to fix everything right now, overnight. They're definitely old enough to learn lessons about this, but they are also young enough to be able to grow out of this behavior.

- Resist the temptation to extrapolate this into something it isn't. It may be easy to look at cheating in a boardgame as tantamount to an overall lack of integrity, but that isn't the case. (I'm not saying that you're doing this, just raising the point.) Yes, honesty and integrity are of the utmost importance, but we have all had our high and low moments on that scale; that's just being human.

- I might gently suggest that you look at your own behavior here. How do you and/or your partner, if you have one, act when you lose a game (even with other adults)? Do you laugh it off, say "good game," and move on? Do you get frustrated and stew on it? Your son will follow your leads; if you vocally value winning and resent losing, it may lead him to prioritize winning over fair play.

- Communication can definitely resolve these issues. But another poster also recommended coop games as an option here, and I think that's superb. Playing on a team - if you can resist taking control - helps to learn about setting boundaries, and lets you reinforce lessons about fair play without making it look like you are the opposition. If you all lose, it also lets you explain that what matters is that you had fun, worked together, played honestly, and gave it your best effort.

Again, you got this!
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Matt D
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About three years ago, our daughter (now 7 and playing Dominion, Legendary, Takenoko, Azul, etc with regularity) discovered cheating while playing a pretty straightforward abstract game based on a book that she was given when she was three and really liked. For reference, it's Press Here.

Game is very straight forward - you've got a number of cards on the table with a series of spaces for colored dots, and a bag of said colored dots to draw from. When you place the last dot on the card, you win the card, and game ends when someone gets X number of cards. Very straightforward.

Anyway, we realized pretty quickly that she was casually peeking into the bag as she was pulling out the dots. She wasn't even particularly subtle about it either.

We let her win that game, and then another game after that. (I will admit, the fact that at four she was able to actually discern which of the several colors would be the best one to pull at a given time did give me a certain degree of pride).

Then when she asked for a third game, everyone said they didn't want to play with her because she kept winning, and we made a comment about how she always seemed to pull exactly the right color for what she needed.

She got kinda quiet and said that she MAY have accidentally seen the colors a few times, and asked that if she made sure she didn't ACCIDENTALLY see them again, if we'd play with her then. Which of course we did.

She was very careful to not look at the bag at all whenever we played that game in the future. And we haven't had another incident of her cheating (that we were aware of) since then.

So either she's gotten better at hiding her cheating, or she's realized that people don't like to play with cheaters.

I'm hoping for the latter, but again part of me might be somewhat proud if my seven year old has figure out how to effectively cheat that I can't detect.
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Mr Osterman
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hestiansun wrote:

Then when she asked for a third game, everyone said they didn't want to play with her because she kept winning, and we made a comment about how she always seemed to pull exactly the right color for what she needed.

She got kinda quiet and said that she MAY have accidentally seen the colors a few times, and asked that if she made sure she didn't ACCIDENTALLY see them again, if we'd play with her then. Which of course we did.


I'm starting to wonder if this is just a function of bag-draw games. The minute you tell a child "let's see what you pull out, a BLAH would be really good", it seems that younger kids are a little too tempted make sure BLAH pops out!

And to the previous advice, my wife sometimes isn't the best at losing (she often laments that I always win, which I don't) and I've been known to get a little "oh my lord!" with games, but since having kids I've tried really really hard to watch that.

There is a pattern here that we are working through so seeing him play a game he could lose is a good thing. He also plays Overwatch on the computer and I've had to have a few talks with him about his demeanor when the game starts to slide into the "going to be hard to win now" territory. No one likes to hear someone say on the comm "Well, this is going to be a loss" or "We're not coming back from this 0-3".

All said, that feels like a SonOfOsterman problem to work through...

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