beat kids

I beat my kids

Growing up, nearly everyday after school my father would take me out to the back porch and proceed to beat me. He got so good at it, sometimes he would take a paddle in each hand and alternate one after another. I lost count of how many times he beat me. I was powerless to stop him, he was bigger, stronger and faster. Then one day the unthinkable happened. One day I beat him. Things were forever changed.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about ping-pong. My dad played ping pong growing up and I was just learning. ย We played almost everyday and he would win every game, every time. He was a good teacher and sometimes we would just work on our skills together, but when it came down to keeping score for real, he wouldn’t take it easy on me. I wanted to win so badly. He refused to let me.

Finally after what must have been over 100 games I finally beat him. That was a great day. I earned that win. I deserved it. I was proud. I lost the next 30 or so games until I finally won one again. Then slowly it got to where we were evenly matched. It was anyone’s game at that point. ย That’s when it really got fun. Those are some great childhood memories of my dad and me at the ping pong table.

In addition to not letting me win at ping pong my dad wouldn’t let me win at anything. He was a great coach and teacher and would do his best to help you get better and improve. But, he wasn’t going to take it easy on you and he certainly wasn’t going to let you win. If you wanted to beat him you were going to have to earn it. That made winning more fun.

There were a lot of great lessons to be learned from all of those beatings. You have more pride in something you had to earn versus something that was just given to you. Sometimes you have some failures on your way to getting your first big win. I also witnessed how to beat someone over 100 times in a row and still be a good sport about it.

I see many parents taking it easy on their kids. I understand the desire to want your child to succeed and have a positive attitude about themselves. But I disagree that giving them a win will accomplish that. Teach your child, coach your child, train your child but don’t cheapen their victory by taking it easy. How much more will they value that win when they truly earned it!

I have followed in my dad’s footsteps and I refuse to let my children beat me at anything. If they beat me, they will have earned it, I’m not going to give it away. Maybe somewhere along the way they can learn the importance of hard work, dedication, practice, sportsmanship and perseverance.

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35 thoughts on “I beat my kids”

  1. Two sentences in and I was hooked, not to mention, cracking up. I had a smile on my face the whole read not only because it was so clever but also because it brought back so many memories of playing ping pong against my dad and brother growing up. I clearly remember how good I felt when the tables turned because they made me earn it. You knocked this one out of the park like Freddy Jacobs!

  2. Susie and I read it together and got a big kick out of your post. Your dad taught you some great lessons. We really like your blogs and we love your family. We even like you a little bit. We are looking forward to your next post.

  3. Agreed. There is alot of flack these days from people who insist that beating your kids is the same as demeaning them and I disagree. Its a line that has to be walked, to not let your kids win and still leave them feeling uplifted, but if you can do it, the benefits are great.

  4. Yes. I agree 100%, just because you win a game doesn’t mean you have to demean the other person (whether it’s your child or not). It can always be a teachable moment.

  5. Ha I was worried about you until after the first paragraph ๐Ÿ˜‰ I agree we need to foster a desire to win and give them the reality in life that they wont always, I think its nice to also give the occasional win though or maybe I’m soft ๐Ÿ˜‰ #brilliantblogposts

    1. Just because you win doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it. It can still be fun even if you don’t “win on the scoreboard”
      Thank you so much for your comment.

  6. I think it’s a fine line. You want to treach your kids they need to earn a win but simply beat them all the time and they wwill lose the desire to even try. Just my opinion. Great post.

    1. You are right, you can’t just dominate your kids and beat them down all the time. There is plenty of room for encouragement and self esteem during practice and lessons. I didn’t officially beat my dad at any sport until I was 13. It made my desire stronger. My dad did a great job of “rooting me on” and offering support even though he was better than me. Thank you for the read & comment.

  7. Phew so glad this didnt go the way I thought It was going with the title and intro!

    I teach my kids they cant win everything too. It drives me insane how maurdy my 10yo gets because her Granddad (dads side) and Dad let her win EVERYTHING and have even be known to change the rules so that they can call her the ‘winner’. I remember her been 3 yo and we were playing snap because she came home and told me Grandad had taught her how to play..then a huge arguement ensued because apparantly the peron who says snap first (well yes that was me!) has to apparantly give their cards to the other player! I mean What the hell!!!!! Needless to say now at 10yo shes a nightmare to play any game with and I try to avoid it where possible! I hate any letter coming home saying thir is a show or such because I know from day 1 their will be tantrums at home because she wasnt picked to be Mary (or whatever!!!) Needless to say from the day I had my others it hasnt happened if they dont win tough s**t try harder next time!!! ha ha ha!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m so hopeless at ping pong that they’d have no trouble beating me at all! Seriously though – great post and I completely agree with you. It’s no help to them if you give them everything on a plate – it’s just setting them up for a fall when they get older and see that life just doesn’t work like that.

  9. Great post, great message, great outlook. Really enjoyed this, Mike. Finding and using teachable moments in whatever you can makes for great parenting.

  10. I am the same way with my kids and they’re have been several people who told me I was too hard on the abd that I should let then win. But they ate the ones with bratty kids no one wants to be around too. Kids learn so much more wedged they have to earn the win! Thales for sharing the memories of you and your dad!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx

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