To let granchild win — or not


By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key



Dear Grandparenting: Roy is my one and only husband. He was a good provider, and I really can’t complain after 47 years of marriage. But I am convinced that Roy is still adjusting to this grandparent thing.

Roy was over the moon when our Brandon came along. He was the first grandchild and a very active little boy who always seemed to have a ball of some kind in his hand.

Roy and Brandon began seeing who could throw the most tennis balls into a wastebasket from five feet away. Next it was putting contests with golf balls on our living room rug. Now it’s wiffle ball and tossing beanbags in the yard. I might be wrong, but I think Roy wins darn near every time.

I had never seen this side of Roy until he began playing with Brandon. Then I got worked up thinking about Brandon taking it on the chin and told Roy to let the poor child win one occasionally.

Roy said that’s not going to happen. In his mind, he’s teaching Brandon about life. As long as I’ve known him, Roy preaches that nobody gives you anything. You have to earn it. “It’s for his own good,” he told me. I say enough already. At this rate Branson will develop a big inferiority complex. You be the referee. Geneva Roper, Lake Stevens, Washington

Dear Geneva: At first blush, your husband does seem a bit hard on the lad. But for all we know, your grandson beats other kids his age and welcomes the challenge. Or maybe the games are getting closer, and your grandson is about to turn the tables.

What we have here is the old “nature vs. nurture” argument. On the one hand, there’s the “builds character” line of reasoning, often espoused by those convinced children are too soft, coddled, and must learn to overcome adversity.

Others like you are more of the persuasion that winning generates confidence, and you can never get enough of that because it’s a rough world out there.

We’re somewhere in the middle, inclined to artfully “throw” a game or lose intentionally without letting on, because as things stand now, your situation seems more for the grandfather’s own good, not the young grandson.

GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK

Fly Martinez, of Teaneck, New Jersey, passed along the remarks of grandson, Del, as he paused between bites of his German chocolate birthday cake.

“I am so happy to be 7 years old. I have to let this sink in. I’ve never been this old before, you know.”

By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.