Conceding defeat starts with teaching kids how to play Snakes and Ladders

learn how to concede defeat

When my son was four years old I taught him to play Snakes and Ladders. He loved playing the game with his little sisters and me. He understood that winning was good and wanted to win every time. Whenever he was the legitimate winner we had a lot of fun.  But there was a problem though. He didn’t like losing. He couldn’t concede he had lost a game even though it was obvious to him – and everybody else. So the game of Snakes and Ladders often ended in chaos with a tantrum and Adam declaring  ‘I win, by a lot’.

Things had to change

We calmly went over the rules and talked about winning and losing. He began to understand that losing was also good because it gives you a chance to try again. And on top of that, a chance to congratulate the winner. That makes everyone feel good then. But the best thing is that if everyone is having a good time, then everyone is a winner. Once he understood the concept of winning and losing, the chaotic scenes ended and democracy was restored.

Didn’t anyone ever teach Donald Trump the rules of Snakes and Ladders?

Over in the United States of America, seventy-four and a half year old Donald Trump recently said a similar thing. I win, by a lot. Trump was the 45th President of the USA until a couple of weeks ago.  He uttered this nonsense after losing the presidential election because he wanted to play president of the USA for a second term in office. He did not concede defeat. Instead he went off to play another of his favourite games – golf.

The legitimate winner?

Under the fake leadership of Donald Trump, Americans have had to endure four years of lies and broken rules. The nation has been divided and there has been a surge in hate crimes. Trump continues to ignore the coronavirus pandemic which so far has killed more than 255,000 Americans.  He has not attempted to bring the country together after tragedies, mostly caused by crimes of hate. Instead he fuels the violence and refuses to make those responsible for the chaos accountable. Respect for the USA is declining in many countries because Trump sides with dictator types. Despite all the chaos, Trump has such a high opinion of himself and says he is ‘the legitimate winner’ although the polls indicate otherwise.  

Put on your big boy pants

According to Philadelphia mayor, Jim Kenny (and most other people) Trump needs ‘to put his big boy pants on’ and accept that the good people of the country want change. They want an end to chaos and division. They want a leader who will take action on things that matter. They don’t want a narcissistic, pathological liar for a President. According to a fact-checker analysis, Trump averages 14.81 lies per day, a total of 16, 241 lies over the last two years.   Just thought I’d throw that statistic in.

So it’s time for change

Welcome to the President-elect Joe Biden, a man with obvious presidential qualities. He is someone who shows that he cares about his country and its citizens. Someone who takes responsibility for failures and mistakes and uses those experiences to try again. Someone who has demonstrated that he will listen to and take advice from the experts when it comes to the big issues such as coronavirus and climate change. Someone who wants to put an end to gun violence. Someone with empathy who understands grief, tragedy and loss. Joe Biden exhibits all these qualities.

If you want something enough, never, ever give up

If you’re looking for a great role model then there is no better example than that of President-elect Joe Biden. Although his life has been marked by personal tragedy he has never given up on his goals. The US election result is a win for Australians too. For example, Biden is serious about climate change and has stated that “If we don’t get this right, nothing else matters,”. High on Biden’s leadership agenda is signing up to the Paris Climate Agreement after Trump withdrew from it. As allies of the USA, Australia will feel pressured to take serious action on climate change for starters.

Why do I care so much?

I have a pen-friend who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We have corresponded for over thirty years. George Floyd was murdered by police on 25 May, 2020, in her neighbourhood.  My pen-friend wrote about the situation.

‘ I was in the midst of a sad situation with black people being unjustly killed by policemen (mostly white.) We had our post office and our police precinct burnt down, 200 plus businesses looted and burned. It was quite surreal … It will be better by Christmas when we elect a new president’. And then, Biden is our day of sunshine.  Soon he will be our pres.  No worries.  Blue tsunami is coming (Biden’s party).

Paula from Minneapolis

But above all, I want the world to be a better place for my four little grandchildren. And this can only happen if people in leadership roles have a moral compass which allows them to act accordingly for the good of the people under their care. But at a more personal level, I’ll be teaching my grandies how to play Snakes and Ladders as soon as they are old enough.  

Thankyou to for the Snakes and Ladders image.



4 Responses

  1. Trying to teach little kids that losing is ok is definitely a difficult task. I have memories of awful games of Monopoly when we were growing up, maybe because I too didn’t like losing!

  2. I had a brother, seven years older than me, and two brothers in between us. Dan never wanted to lose at Monopoly, and once when he did, he pouted in his bedroom while the rest of us smiled and felt vindicated. That brother, however used his talent to persevere, and became a very successful doctor, husband, father and grandfather. He had an office building built and a street named after us, and when I think how his strategy worked, in his favor, I think how well he played this type of game, very competitive and aggressively. We had a father who instilled lots of good sportsmanship in us and I can remember dad saying, “when you win at tennis, always remember to congratulate your opponent and say, ‘you played a good game too,”. Was Dan right or was my dad right? I believe both had lots of good value. But it sure was fun growing up and I love the game Monopoly, and remember a brother, who once lost at Monopoly, and a loving father who never wanted anyone to feel like they hadn’t played their very best.

    1. Hi Paula, thanks for your amazing comment. It seems like being competitive and aggressive in some games as a child can transfer over to the way some people run their lives. In your brother’s case this certainly proved to be a good thing and led to his very successful life. That’s interesting how you have a street named after you! Love that! Two very different strategies – your brother and your dad. As you say, both had lots of good values.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts