It’s important to instill a healthy sense of deity-like worship in your kids as early and for as long as possible. Soon enough you will be faced by an eye-rolling, curfew breaking, car borrowing teenager. So here is a guide to winning as a parent – enjoy it while it lasts.
1. In Monopoly: Always be the banker. Most kids aren’t familiar with embezzlement, but make sure there is a cartoon on in the background to occasionally distract them so you can make your, ahem, withdrawals.
2. In contact sports: You are bigger and stronger and faster and don’t let them forget it. Oh, sure when they are little you have to sandbag to make it look good, but as soon as you let ’em beat you they lose all respect. Trust me, this is not without risk. Later on you may want to watch your back in the family reunion flag football game. I recommend retiring from contact sports permanently as soon as they become truly competitive. Then you can always remind them of the “big game,” and enjoy their futile demands for a rematch.
3. At cards: Just make up rules like that annoying poker player who rattles off a bunch of wildcards. Call the game Kansas City Snooker. Spit out the rules very fast so that no one would be able to confirm the existence of them all, then just improvise as needed. “Why of course two jacks beats a full house, we’re playing KC Snooker.”
4. Playing video games: Kids today come pre-programmed to excel at video games, so your window of opportunity for beating them is brief. As soon as, by some stroke of luck, you find yourself winning, look at your watch and declare it to be bedtime or homework time, or explain that the baseball game (you really don’t care about) is on and very important to you and you are not about to DVR it. Or go the vintage route and just ban Call of Duty outright. Have Miss Pacman matches, or Street Fighter, depending on how old you are. You can also change the control layout every time they go get a snack or whatever.
5. Golf: When hitting the links, be extra “helpful” with club selection. Also, as they improve it will become crucial to your success get some of those novelty golf balls. Sneezing attacks while they tee off are common as well as yelling “snake!” “Oh sorry, that was just a hose.”
6. In track and field: I don’t know, I only run if there is a bear. If you like bears and running go read The Oatmeal, I’m sure he needs the views.
7. Racing Go-Karts: Your superior weight is finally your ally – it will help you put ’em into the wall when they try to pass! Remember “And rubbin, son, is racin” Harry Hogge Days of Thunder.
9. At the batting cages: Now there’s a fun father/kid bonding experience. It’s harder that you remember, though, so be sure to secretly practice for months before you take your little league hopeful to the cages with you. Crush baseballs as you crush their spirit! Ol’ dad’s a natural.
10. Bowling: “Of course all the kids use a 15 pound ball, just don’t drop it on your foot. Ok, two hands buddy. Now get out there and put down some pins. Bumpers, are you crazy? I don’t care if insert name had those at his birthday party, this is real bowling. Now lets play for chores? What do you say champ?” This is your ticket to a mowed lawn and a detailed car.
Or you could be nice and needlessly build up their already soaring self confidence. Trophies for everyone? Those days are over.