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I’ll beat you next time.

August 18, 2009

I thought that it was only in our local schools that games with winners and losers had been abandoned in favor of “co-operative games.”  Perhaps it is more precise to say that I hoped it was only our school which had converted dodge ball into a everyone wins game.  I hoped that it was only our school which had a “Games Day” with no winners.  I hoped that other schools were playing games which taught children how to win and how to lose.  Games which encouraged children to strive to win or, after losing, to return the next day to try harder.

No such luck.  According to Mark Steyn, the same thing in happening in England.

Primary schools have given up on the egg-and-spoon and sack race because, under the great Cult of Self-Esteem, it’s too much to ask a child to endure the sting of defeat. A third of London schools play no competitive sports. Teachers are uncomfortable with the notion of an “opposing side” one must strive to “beat” – just as, in the war on terror, many grown-ups are uncomfortable with the notion of “the enemy”: to the progressive mind, there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven’t yet fully acknowledged.

This is not a good thing.

At least we haven’t swung too far towards that Cult of Self-Esteem.   While many of the traditional gym games have been altered so that no one loses (and no one wins), the children still play floor hockey and basketball and even chess.  Healthy competition is a good thing.

In fact, we’ve started playing board games almost every day at our house.  And I don’t let the children win.  To beat me, they have to earn it.

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