Kids: The Morals of Monopoly...

Carson and Finley got some money from their Great-Aunties for Christmas and yesterday Carson decided we were to go and spend. Fine by me. I even said we'd go for Burger King if he was really really good too (I wanted Burger King!)  Anyway, amongst other goodies, he chose the festively classic feud-fuel that is Monopoly. I did warn him that it's a mean game and someone ends up poor and losing all their houses but he didn't seem to mind so I let him go ahead and buy it.

This morning, we sat in our pjs, he lay the throw on the floor as it's 'cuddly' and we cracked it open. Explaining all the rules, he was well and truly on the ball with it, he really picked it up in a flash. 

I don't mind the odd cheat from a child in a game. Why not? It's completely natural for littl'uns to try and push the boundaries and I'd much rather they do it during a game than in real life. So when he short-changed me by M1 when paying rent, I'd let it slide... until the third time. Then he was mortified that he'd been caught and didn't do it a single time again. I also went to make us a brew at one point and when I came back I asked if he's been stealing from the bank. "No" he said, as his contorted face screamed I'M LYING! I didn't even have to threaten a re-count, he lifted a solitary M20 note from under his bum and slipped it back in the bank looking sheepish, all of his own accord.

The first hour or so, he was incredibly lucky doing well. Me? I was going down the pan! Half my properties mortgaged, no income and going past Go always seemed to involve me landing on the damn Income Tax square - paying all all M200 back, I was fighting a losing battle. Reminded me far too much of real-life for my liking!
"Hah haaaah, In your face!" Carson, age 6.
Now this is what I cannot and will not tolerate in a child. Laughing at someone else misfortunes? I don't think so Sonny Jim. Not on my watch. At the age of 6 it's easier to put a stop to that, by the time they're 10 though, it becomes much harder. Nip this in the bud now, I thought. 

So, when I popped this picture on facebook of Carson recovering from a major sob-fest after having landed on my Mayfair Hotel (M2000 I thank you please!) I was called a meanie for not letting him off, only in jest of course. These people commenting are my friends and are not at all having a go. But it did make me think about how many mums would do, and whether I am in the minority? 


Was it cruel to make him see how quickly tables can turn and that you shouldn't laugh at others misfortunes? Should I have let him off? Afterall, it's only a game. 

He cried a couple more times after this one. I asked him if we should just end the game and call it a draw (I mean, I knew I won - that's all that counts right?!) but he was adamant that he was going to go all the way. He ended up with every single property mortgaged and owing me M9 in the end. 

Guess what... it ended with smiles because he accepted the fact that his venture hadn't been successful. 

"Just because you were losing at first doesn't mean you have to lose at the end"
Carson, age 6.

So from that comment alone, as he helped me tidily collect the money (from my side!) to put away in the box, I was pleased. Lessons seem to have been learnt. Successfully. Regardless of how cruel it was in the process! 

Morals of Monopoly, as explained to Carson:

> Don't laugh at others misfortunes, it can happen just as easily to you at any given time.
> Never give up.
> Don't let someone else buy Mayfair.

What do you think? x

28 comments:

  1. We've been playing Monopoly over the past few days and I didn't let little man (aged 5 and half) off when he landed on my properties (Mayfair and Park Lane). Hubby was also playing and said I should let him off the rent as he is little, but I am just like you, I think little ones should play by the rules!
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year! :) x

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  2. I completely agree with you in this post. It should be nippers in the bum sooner rather then later (I have a 10 year old to prove it) and I don't think we should always let kids win but should instead teach them it's ok to lose it just means you try again.

    Great post and I love this game :)

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  3. Such a great post and I love Carsons morals and reflections at the end - so true. It is funny though how Monopoly always ends in tears - even with adults. I think it's important to stick to the rules and good on you for doing it

    Laura x

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  4. wow! that's so cool! i mean especially having a good mum like you to explain the moral of a game!
    who would ever thought that even through games like monopoly you could have some lesson to teach too! I think Carson would be a great man one day with all the good values! keep it up! ;)

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  5. This is brilliant :) I love how you explain morals whilst playing a game, it teaches a lot i think and it's really smart of you. You're great!

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  6. Great post! I love monopoly, used to play this alot, its been ages since I last played. What a good way to learn as well.

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  7. Games are great for teaching kids morals, personally I never let my kids win or cheat because I aim to be consistant, I consistantly win ha ha!

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  8. I love monopoly and its a good way to learn morals. Also that you don't always win x

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  9. I love monopoly but even as adults it always ends in tears haha! You did good, helping teach them the morals and its okay not to win everytime!

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  10. I don't play Monopoly any more - my hubby takes it WAY too seriously, and sucks all the fun out of the game. Maybe he should also learn some rules from your Monopoly code of conduct, haha!! x

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  11. Ah good old monopoly. It does bring out the competitive side! My brother and little one play board games all the time and he never lets her win and she gets upset but like you said she knows to not give up and has started to win! :-) x

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  12. I love Monopoly - as far as I remember I've always played by the rules as well, no being let off! x

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  13. I'm married to a monopoly fan and my little bro loved playing it as a child after half an hour I would have had enough but he'd play till the end, snoooor! I totally agree with ur method children need to know that not everything in life comes easy. Great post x

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  14. learning to be a good winner and loser is definately a hard skill to master. I'm not sure that even now I like losing!

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  15. god board games are such a great learning curve for all kids. personally i think you did the right thing, lessons need to be learned and the most important is never be mean to those on the way up as you'll never know if you need them on the way down!

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  16. I loooooove Monopoly this is one of my favourite games, I can't wait till me kids are old enough to pay it on a sunday afternoon with us. Good old family board games day xx

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  17. Monopoly is such a classic game, haven't played it in ages though. I used to think it was a cruel game as was always on the losing front. I have to agree with your point of nipping it in the bud. I know too many parents who haven't and the end result of not doing so was pretty bad.

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  18. I won't play Monopoly with my fella and my girls....We are all so competitive and it always ends up in such an argument....Monopoly is a great tool for life lessons x

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  19. I can't wait to play this with my daughter! Monopoly is my favourite board game, me and my hubby are very competitive. Sounds like you had great fun despite the odd sob, it's all about learning and monopoly is a great tool for that xxx

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  20. I don't allow cheating on games but I do let them win until they turn 7.I think up to then they don't have much idea about game strategy or life experience to understand how cheating is wrong.

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  21. Owww bless him.. his little sad face when he was loosing is too cute!

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  22. What a great post. I think its great to teach children the values when it comes to playing a game with the family. We allow Maxwell to win most of the time but when he doesn't (occasionally) he accept's it and we tell him to move on again and play again.

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  23. Haha. We play monopoly with our 5 year old. She got the junior version for her 5th birthday and she loves it! Rules as there to be taught. We have had many tears and tantrums over the year but she now plays with no tantrums. Yeah! :-) may be this Christmas we can upgrade to the full adult version?

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  24. I completely agree with you. I do allow Jack to win occasionally when we are playing games but not all the time as we don't want to teach him that will always be the case.

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  25. I think it's important for children to learn rules, and also how to be a good winner and a good loser too. I agree that it's best to nip it in the bud early.

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  26. I think you handled it so well ! It's a great lesson to learn and the earlier the better Hun great job xxx
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  27. What a great idea to teach your children while playing Monopoly.

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