A regular sent me a great note last week with a dilemma. She does a great job explaining it so here’s what she wrote:
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I’m planning a party soon for my soon-to-be-7-year-old. It will be an outside party and I would like to include age appropriate games like a dizzy bat or hula hoop relay race, and a ring or bean bag toss. I would like to give the winner a prize, but is that OK?”
“I took this same child to a party a few months ago and all the kids were divided into 2 teams and given 2 rolls of toilet paper to wrap one of their team members into a mummy. The mom of the birthday girl said ‘Let’s see who can use all their toilet paper first!’, then turned on music. The kids wrapped, and one team was first. And that was it.”
” It sure sounded to me like a set up for a prize, and I think some of the kids did too, but the game was done. That mom is a big believer in ‘everyone’s a winner.’ I am not. These kids are in first grade. I think it’s OK at this point to introduce that idea that not everyone’s a winner, right?”
“I am not planning on great games of skill and strategy, and the stakes are not high; the prize will probably be just a piece of something plastic, so this will not scar the kids and send them to therapy in later life, will it? I can’t have that on my conscience. If this age is not appropriate, when can they play games where someone wins?”
The party is this weekend so this mom needs our help! Can she have games with winners, losers and prizes? At what age is this appropriate? Is something wrong in our society that we even have to wonder this?