Parents feel guilty if they don't let their children win at board games, finds research

Katy Morton
Thursday, December 13, 2012

The survey of 2,000 parents commissioned by Lego Games reveals that more than seven out of ten UK parents let their children win to prevent tantrums.

More than 70 per cent of parents said they let their children win at board games, with a quarter claiming they feel guilty if they don't.

Of those who responded to the survey, one in five said it’s more important their child has fun and wins every time, than learn that you can’t come top in everything.

In contrast, 13 per cent of fathers confessed to refusing to let their children win games either because they can’t bear losing themselves or want to teach their children how it feels to not always win.

Of the parents surveyed, 36 per cent think it is character building not to come top in everything.

The survey indicated that Welsh parents were the most competitive when it came to winning, while Northern Irish parents were the least competitive, with 81 per cent preferring to give into their children’s tantrums by deliberately letting them win.

Jo Merton, spokesperson for Lego Games, said, 'Parents can be accused of mollycoddling their children when it comes to playing games. With younger children especially it’s understandable that you don’t want to hinder their confidence but instead encourage them to take part in family games.

‘To add to the pressure, sometimes losing can lead to tearful tantrums – which many parents would rather avoid at all costs.’

She added, 'Even the simplest of games can bring out the competitive streak in all of us. We therefore weren’t surprised to see examples of tactful parenting being put into practice.

'We understand the challenges parents face and that losing a game is always a touchy subject even more so when children are involved. Lego Games are a great solution for families with children who just can't bear to lose as there are various ways to play.  You can make your own rules to suit the players and situations.'

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