Teaching Good Sportsmanship

My older two boys love Monopoly and keep begging me to play with them.

We've had a game going for quite some time now that we have kept set up at our dining table.

While I hate playing Monopoly I know it offers great opportunities for lessons in math, reading, and good sportsmanship.

Because I am the first to admit that my boys do not play with good sportsmanship.
  • Ian and Alec both cheer when someone lands on their property.  
  • They grin with glee when someone doesn't have enough money pay.  
  • They pout and sulk when someone goes by their property and they cry when they run out of money.  

It's tough but we're trying to teach them it's a game.

They have both played on sports teams and showed great sportsmanship when they participated; always smiling and encouraging their teammates, always congratulating the other team on a good game or a good play, focusing on trying to better their own skills and making friends.

But somehow when my two older boys start playing board games with one another the competition turns fierce and no game brings that out more than Monopoly.

The only way I really know how to teach sportsmanship is to model it.

I keep reminding my boys that whether they win or loose they should be focused on having fun!  Having fun is the whole reason we play family games.

When games get particularly cutthroat or someone is getting upset we will put it away or take a break and walk away for a few days.

Today we had loads of fun playing until Alec lost... I felt bad but this game has lasted weeks (perhaps months!) and we had long since run out of money and started making our own. I was happy to see the game finally coming to an end and vowed this one will be staying on the shelf just a bit longer.

In the meantime we'll play some other board games and hope that they are a little less cutthroat. 


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