In one day last week I played a game of Zingo, Candyland, many rounds Slamwich and 2 games of Chess. This was my average Tuesday! Here is the interesting fact about how I play games: I always play to win. I teach the small beings I play with to play to win also. It is critical to experience both winning and losing.
When two small beings are playing a game together, one of them will win and one will lose. There is no other way to play some games. My play models that experience, so the small beings I spend time with know what to do in both situations (when they win and when they lose). It leads to more successful interactions with peers. Being a good winner is expressing personal excitement for winning and congratulating the other on a good game. Good losing as being happy for our friend who won and knowing there are more games ahead.
Another reason teaching winning and losing behavior is important, is for when these beings are in larger scale competitions like a sports game, dance competition or spelling bee. We will not be able to ensure a win in these venues and want them to have a successful experience regardless of the final score.
The experience of the game should be the focus, not the final outcome. As we play, talk about the fun we are having. Focus on laughing and learning and trying hard and quality time together. The last few minutes that determine the winner or loser are minor compared to the entire game. When you are sharing a great time together, the end result of who wins and who losses is less important. Model fun when playing with your small being, the fun of playing and take the pressure and focus off the ending with winners and losers.