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Board game dads who hate to lose: Study finds fathers will go all out to win – but mothers are happy to see their children take victory
02:18 GMT, 13 December 2012
For a good Monopoly battle this Christmas, make sure you play with your dad. Research reveals fathers are more likely to go all out to win when they play board games with their children.
Mothers, however, will happily allow their sons and daughters to enjoy the thrill of victory if it makes life easier.
It is thought some fathers enjoy a ‘school of hard-knocks’ approach either because they themselves can’t stand losing, or to teach their child how it feels to taste defeat.
Competitive: Research reveals fathers are more likely to go all out to win when they play board games with their children
The study, by Lego Games, also found two-thirds of youngsters regularly throw a wobbler if they don’t win.
Despite fathers being more likely to be competitive, the survey of 2,000 parents found 71 per cent let their children win whenever they play games.
Additionally, one in four parents said they 'feel guilty' if they don't let their children win, the poll by LEGO Games found.
Jo Merton, spokesperson for LEGO Games' Creationary, which commissioned the research, said: 'Parents can be accused of mollycoddling their kids when it comes to playing games.
'With younger children especially, it's understandable that you don't want to hinder their confidence but instead encourage them to take part in family games.
'To add to the pressure, sometimes losing can lead to tearful tantrums – which many parents would rather avoid at all costs.
'Even the simplest of games can bring out the competitive streak in us.
Easy life: Mothers, however, will happily allow their sons and daughters to enjoy the thrill of victory if it makes life easier
'We therefore weren't surprised to see examples of tactful parenting being put into practice.
'We need to remember that playing games is all part of the fun at Christmas time and it's about spending time together and having fun, not having arguments.'
The study of 2,000 parents revealed 71 per cent of parents let their kids win whenever they play games with them.
Almost three quarters admitted to making out they are rubbish at board games to prolong their family time and make it more fun for the kids.
One in five believes it's more important that their child has fun – which they do if they win every time – than learn that you can't come top in everything.
But the study found that not all parents are as sympathetic, with one in five admitting to being so competitive they will never let their kids win when playing games with them.
More than a third thinks it's character-building to not come top in everything, while a hardnosed 22 per cent claim they won't succumb to their kid's tantrums.
The study also revealed it's not just games where families are competitive against each other with almost a quarter comparing exam results.
Sporting achievements, success in education and even how many times it takes to pass a driving test are among the other things that leave siblings and parents battling each other.