FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure


Written By: Scot Butwell - Jan• 28•14


D and I were playing Zingo. It is a game where you pull a number card holder back and forth and match number squares to your game card. It’s Bingo with a Z.

We both had our game cards filled up except for the number “two.” So I told him, “Hey, we both need the number two—you better be ready.”

A few cards later, he pulled a yellow number two tile from the card holder. I waited to see if he was going to yell out “two.”

But when he reached for the number card holder, I grabbed the number two tile, put it on my card and yelled “Zingo!” His reaction was instantaneous.

He grabbed my game card, flung the number tiles up in the air and moved the card holder back and forth to find a number two.

Then, he placed it on his card and yelled out, “Zingo…I win!”

I was at first angry that the scattered yellow number tiles, fearing they’d end up like other game board games pieces: lost.  His bedroom is populated with games that have missing pieces.

Nevertheless, I sensed this was a teachable moment, bigger than keeping the game pieces from becoming lost on the bedroom floor.

“Who won?”

“I won.”

“Who won?”

“I won.”

“Who won?”

“I won.”

“No, I won.”

I reviewed what transpired, explaining that I filled up my number card first and was the first to yell “Zingo.” It made perfect sense to me, but I know this doesn’t mean it made any sense to him.

I could tell he still believed he won because he flung my game pieces, found the number two, and declared himself the winner.

I’ve acted like this, believing the beautiful lie to justify or rationalize a wrong behavior. So I knew this strategy could lead to all sorts of wrong behavior.

But I knew this was a lesson for another day. Maybe five or ten years.

“It’s okay if you don’t win every time,” I said. “But you can’t throw the game pieces when you don’t win. Instead, you can congratulate the winner.”

This was the teachable moment for today, and in lieu of his difficulty regulating his emotions, I hope this lesson will stick.

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