The one benifit having kids playing chess

One chess parent told me he thought one of main benefits of having kids playing chess was the constant challenge to kids. The kids learn to deal with setbacks since they are in up and down all the time. I remember I heard more than once Abe told himself “I’d better win this one”, but he lost it; Abe murmured “How I could lose all the games”, but it was real.  The same challenge also applies to parents. The parents are constantly embarrassed with the high expectations for their kids. Although that expectation might come from the love of your kids and the passion of you to the game, it’ll put too much pressure to the kids and it is not healthy.

As Abe’s rating jumps and dives, I know that there are apparent weaknesses in his game, it needs time and experience to fix them. For example, as more than one person mentioned, Abe needs improve his endgames. But if not slowing down and not playing with strong opponents, as i understand, you might not have any experience playing the endgame. Abe slowed down a lot recently, and I prefer him to play with strong opponents, even most games results in losses.

In the past several tournaments, I said “good job” to him after each of Abe’ loses, he slowed down, put a good fight and I was happy for him.


2 Comments to “The one benifit having kids playing chess”

  1. By chess sets, November 18, 2010 @ 11:01 am

    Great post, cutting through to something dear to my heart. It’s so easy to say “just do it,” so easy to say “Learn from your failures,” so easy to say “Nothing is wasted, everything is a data point.”

    But it’s so blasted hard to feel it in your guts, to shake it off and get on with renewed confidence. Abe’s progress isn’t linear/stepwise; his play in his 99th game may not be appreciably “better” than in his 98th, and it’s very hard for him — for anyone — to maintain the perspective to see the gradual upward arc. As you said, his rating is climbing and diving, but surely on a gradual upward trend.

    What you can do to help him is to provide this big-picture perspective, to talk about the improvements over time — and to focus on the quality of play and his understanding of the game; the numbers in the Win and Loss columns can (especially for a kid) obscure how well we play the game.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing — praising him, encouraging him, loving him — and it will come right in the end.
    – – – – – – –

  2. By TheChessDad, November 29, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    Thanks for sharing your thought and idea.

    At first, I worried too much about Abe’s losses and tried to find a quick solution that he could improve. What I got were frustration after frustration. Then I realized that put too much pressure on kids, and it might backfire.

    Now I don’t care much about Abe’s losses, Love and Encouragement, as you suggested, are much better than Criticism.

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