I'm going to say something terrible… Winning isn't that important. Shocking isn't it? Come London 2012 and you'll probably get arrested for saying things like that. It's not that I'm going to stop trying; it's just that I can't seem to summon the interest. Hmmm, maybe that DOES mean I'm going to stop trying? I'm not going to survive with that kind of attitude.
I'm being a little disingenuous here. A month or so ago my brother won a badminton game against me for the first time. I was shocked to discover how much that hurt but resolved to be the gracious loser I'd always supposed myself to be; and since he's won several games since then that's probably just as well.
Nevertheless I stand by my original statement. I'm beginning to think we should all become a bit more… well… British – wherever you happen to live in the world.
However, though this may be my belief on how things should be I still have to recognise how things are. So I attempt to balance my daughter's competitive behaviour with that more humane (and I use to think more British) belief that it's not the winning but the taking part that counts. 'Loser' talk as my brother would put it.
But it's not easy. If you're playing a game with your children you let them win, don't you? It's not only because you want to see them happy - it's also to do with self preservation. It's O.K. to win against your wife because she won't try to pull your arms out of their sockets if she loses, seven year old children have been known to do that.