My son has the incredibly annoying habit of showing his cards when we play games. If he’s holding them up to his face, it doesn’t matter, because he’ll reveal his hand when he picks up a card from the deck or adds one to the pile. WHATEVER he does, his flashing is hard to ignore and makes me feel like I’m cheating because I have knowledge I shouldn’t.
Pushing his cards into his chest or saying “I can see your cards!” for the billionth time gets old real fast.
I stumbled onto a solution when we recently played Sorry Revenge, which I received as a gift. I was told that the game takes a little while to get into but then becomes addictive, which we found to be accurate.
My enjoyment in playing was dampened by Doran’s lazy habits. We’re a family that loves games, but this was going to be a serious detriment; I had to do something to save us. I told Doran that for each card of his that Samara or I saw, we would get to flip over one of our own, bringing us that much closer to winning. To make it fair, we extended him the same courtesy.
Needless to say, we had a bit of fun repeatedly exclaiming with glee, “I saw [insert number] of your cards!” Since the object is to turn all four of your “pawn” cards into “home” cards, we had a huge advantage.
Doran quickly knew that he was in trouble. After a few rounds, we realized that the strategy seemed to be working – even if Doran was at one point keeping all his cards face down in a pile so he wouldn’t accidentally reveal any.
The real test, however, will be the next time we play. Has his behavior truly changed or will we need to reinforce our new “rules?”
Either way, I think “hitting” him where it hurts is a good motivator. I bet we can adapt this method to get him to chew with his mouth closed – something we’ve been on his case about for years. We can threaten to take away — either in minutes or days — his most precious commodity of screen time each time he noisily chews.
I think Lysistrata would approve.