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Sore Losers

The kids are on a game kick these days. Some are made up, like throwing a paper airplane back and forth to a certain distance. Others are board games like Stratego or Sorry! or card games like War.

For the most part they're great. Six-year-old teaches four-year-old and they play happily. That is until four year old loses -- which, by the way doesn't always happen. The child's typically pretty mellow; but he definitely has a competitive streak in him. And so, as soon as he starts to lose, the whining and screaming begins.

We've talked about how sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We've explained that no one wants to play with friends who cry when they lose. We've modeled losing games with them, shaking hands and saying "good game." We've shown ways to win the games. We've put games away for another time if the loser can't handle it.

Other kids come over and play. Their response if they lose: "It's only a game" and off they go to the next activity.

Still, somehow, all these methods just aren't working -- yet. Clinical Psychologist Lawrence Kutner writes on his Web site that a certain amount of sore loser behavior is developmental. "Toddlers and preschoolers ... don't yet have the words to express the intense emotions they feel. They're also experimenting with ways to handle their frustration and desire for control. They find it hard to lose for the same reason they find it hard to share toys with other children." By elementary school, though, the sore loser behavior should shift.

Some other good tips on "treating" sore losers according to Kutner: Talk about life disappointments and how we've handled them. Play non-competitive games as well as competitive ones. Avoid the temptation to let your child win all the time. Emphasize effort. And my favorite: Add humor. Let the loser tickle the winner.

How have you taught your kids to lose graciously?

Today's Talker: House and Senate lawmakers agreed yesterday to permanently ban three types of phthalates from children's toys and to outlaw three other phthalates from products pending an extensive study of their health effects in children and pregnant women. Read More

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 29, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Behavior
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Comments


"How have you taught your kids to lose graciously?"

I told my kids to check out yesterday's blog, including the "flyover country" fight. They loved the "where does Brian live?" debate and the "not the Governer" married to the hot Asian woman.


Great examples of sore losers and players who shouldn't be in the game in the first place.

"Play non-competitive games as well as competitive ones. Avoid the temptation to let your child win all the time. Emphasize effort. And my favorite: Add humor. Let the loser tickle the winner."

How does this "teach" kids how to lose graciously?

Posted by: Ummm | July 29, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

"How have you taught your kids to lose graciously?"

By making rules and enforcing them.

Sore loser? Throw all your toys out the pram, as the Brits might say? Then you don't play again for a fixed period of time. That applies whether it's video games in the basement, board games in the family room or sports out at the fields. Playing games is a privilege. You can't obey the rules, you can't play.

Point out both positive and negative role models. Unfortunately, there are sometimes way too many of the negative ones (like the coach who got himself ejected from youngest DD's softball tournament for calling the umpire a racist; or the mother who was banned from the program for taunting some 10 year olds), so you should be the positive role model yourself.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

when you learn how to be a gracious loser, tell me! only partially kidding. i'm not as bad as a toddler (i think) nor would i scream at kids playing a soccer game but i have a competitive streak and losing is not fun. i try to focus on effort; if i played my best then i have nothing to be ashamed of. there are just some people who are better than i am. even that stings but not as much as it used to. i think it really depends on the temperment of the child. i have seen some kids when they're good at one thing like soccer or basketball they expect to be good at everything & get mad if they aren't. other kids that are good at some sports seem to have figured out that they can't be good at everything & are gracious losers.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I begin each game of Sorry with my son by telling him, "I'm going to beat you like a red-headed stepchild!"

Then when I draw the sorry card, bump him back to start, or otherwise make a move to my winning advantage, I taunt him with jeres such as, "Ha-ha-a-ha-ha", "nanny nanny boo boo", and rub it in as much as possible by asking him things like, "How does it feel like to be a loser?"

I'm ruthless!

And he knows it and will usually resort to cheating if he has to, which he thinks is OK as long as he doesn't get caught. However, if I do catch him in a boldface lie, I get to call him a "Little Cheating Weasel" for the rest of the day.

Great fun!

Interesting that he gets along so well with other kids his age. He'll grow up to be a people person for sure!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

4th paragraph: They're should be Their.

Otherwise, I think this is something kids grow out of pretty quickly as their friends won't want to play with them if they aren't fun to be around.

Posted by: grammer police | July 29, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Step-Son was an extremely poor loser and would actually have little temper tantrums when he lost. We had tried multiple things with Step-son almost to no avail. We wouldn't play another game if he got upset and we talked about sometimes winning and sometimes losing. We warned him that kids wouldn't play with him and finally we hit the jackpot.

One day out of frustration with his behaviour, I pretended to cry when I lost a game of Go Fish. He looked at me like I was an idiot but said nothing. Then another day, his father did it and then one day we were playing in pairs and we lost and I started to pretend cry and he joined in. Now... the losers pretend cry and its a bit of a funny thing that only the losers are allowed to do. So the winners get their high-5 and the losers get their pretend whine and everybody is happy. I can't remember the last time that step-son got upset over losing.

Believe me... he still wants to win but at least he is a good sport about losing now.

Posted by: Billie | July 29, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

There is something really weird & creepy about Whacky Weasel. He makes my skin crawl.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm with AB -- we just put the game away and tell them they can play again when they can behave better. We'll talk about good sportsmanship, trying your best, etc., but not in the heat of the moment -- by the time they're fussing, their ears are turned off, and my patience is usually shot. So when they get whiney/fussy, the game just goes away, and we find something else to do.

Posted by: Laura | July 29, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

gutless 8:34, go ahead with your skin, and your tail between your legs and crawl somewhere. Preferably under a rock where you belong.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

My son (6) is definitely a sore loser. We also hear a lot about how things are not "fair", both at school and at home (when it comes to his 3-year-old sister). We even had a special conference at school with his teacher who brought up the subject. We've been working really hard on it this summer, and I think we've made some progress. Mostly, we try to create a lot of scenarios where we can show him how to respond to winning and losing. We've also been trying to demonstrate more acts of general human kindness. My husband and I donate both money and goods to various charities, but never thought to include the kids, or explain to them what we did. We do that now. Showing our son that others are not as fortunate, and that helping those who are in need, seems to help a lot. So now, he goes to donate his old toys and clothes with me, he helps get food for the food pantry, etc. It's helping, but it really took an effort on our part.

As for my daughter, that's a whole 'nother story.

Posted by: Jen | July 29, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"gutless 8:34, go ahead with your skin, and your tail between your legs and crawl somewhere. Preferably under a rock where you belong."

Must be Whacky Weasel. He's such a clever writer.


Posted by: Curly | July 29, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

My son (6) is definitely a sore loser. We also hear a lot about how things are not "fair", both at school and at home (when it comes to his 3-year-old sister). We even had a special conference at school with his teacher who brought up the subject. We've been working really hard on it this summer, and I think we've made some progress. Mostly, we try to create a lot of scenarios where we can show him how to respond to winning and losing. We've also been trying to demonstrate more acts of general human kindness. My husband and I donate both money and goods to various charities, but never thought to include the kids, or explain to them what we did. We do that now. Showing our son that others are not as fortunate, and that helping those who are in need, seems to help a lot. So now, he goes to donate his old toys and clothes with me, he helps get food for the food pantry, etc. It's helping, but it really took an effort on our part.

As for my daughter, that's a whole 'nother story.

Posted by: Jen | July 29, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I just hate competitive games. Some mothers I know insist on playing musical chairs at birthday parties.

I like activities that teach the children cooperation rather than competition. At one b'day party, the mom had the greatest idea--a cake decorating activity. She baked the cake but left it bare of icing. Each child was allowed, in turn of course, to choose one of the several colors of icing and put it on the cake. It was not bakery pretty but beautiful in the cooperative spirit of all the party goers!

Posted by: Cecilia | July 29, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"How have you taught your kids to lose graciously?"

I told my kids to check out yesterday's blog, including the "flyover country" fight. They loved the "where does Brian live?" debate and the "not the Governer" married to the hot Asian woman.


Great examples of sore losers and players who shouldn't be in the game in the first place."

Interesting moral compass.

How would focusing on all the wrong examples teach good behavior? Oh. I get it. Your point is to be holier than thou about other strangers. Nice. What an awesome parenting strategy. Your kids will learn lots of finger-pointing from dear old dad.

Back to the subject.

Posted by: Geraldo | July 29, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse


I agree with ArmyBrat. Put away their game if/when they whine. Rachet up to punish if/when they continue. Apply early and often as needed.

Posted by: teach early | July 29, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Life is all about competition, and the sooner children learn how to win, the better. Losing is for, well, losers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I too am with Army Brat. Family saying, there are no tears when playing the Wii. When my son gets upset at losing, I tell him, "of course I won, I'm 39 years old. I have 32 more years of experience. It would be surprising if I didn't win wouldn't it?".

That said, he routinely beats me at Wii baseball and sometimes real bowling and he knows that when he does beat me, he won legitimately.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 29, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"I like activities that teach the children cooperation rather than competition. At one b'day party, the mom had the greatest idea--a cake decorating activity. She baked the cake but left it bare of icing. Each child was allowed, in turn of course, to choose one of the several colors of icing and put it on the cake. It was not bakery pretty but beautiful in the cooperative spirit of all the party goers!

Posted by: Cecilia | July "

Classic flyover country.

Posted by: Wow! | July 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Geraldo

"How would focusing on all the wrong examples teach good behavior? Oh. I get it. Your point is to be holier than thou about other strangers. Nice. What an awesome parenting strategy. Your kids will learn lots of finger-pointing from dear old dad."

It's called humor, Jughead...

Posted by: Ummm | July 29, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ummmm, you wouldn't know humor if it smacked your little face with a pie.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Put away their game if/when they whine."

So it's the parent's job to be the designated poor sport and wreck the game when things arent perfect? You might as well teach your kids that it's better to be a quitter than suffer from the experience of losing.

It's Just a poor example of a person in authority being a poor role model, and rather than making a teachable moment out of the situation, chooses convenience as a solution.

Makes me wunder who the adults are.

Posted by: makes no sense | July 29, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Another loverly day on the OP...

Posted by: Higgins | July 29, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"I'm 39
years old."

Moxiemom, how many years have you been 39? You sound like my grandmother!

Posted by: wouldn't have guessed | July 29, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Makes me wunder who the adults are.

Posted by: makes no sense | July 29, 2008 9:42 AM

I completely agree. Most of the flyover folks on this blog are more interested in being "friends" with their children instead of being the parent, like Dina Lohan.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Moxiemom, how many years have you been 39? You sound like my grandmother!"

Ditto. Sounds like a grandmother who was a "party girl" in a past life.

Posted by: LOL | July 29, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

to: makes no sense - you're right; you are making no sense.

There are an escalating set of consequences for inappropriate behavior. At a point in the behavior scale, the consequence becomes taking the game away and putting it up for a designated time. The children know this; they've been taught it numerous times. No, we don't tend to take the game away for a first offense or a mild whine; we are trying to teach them proper behavior.

They're all teachable moments.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I loved playing games but I was a terribly poor sport growing up. My mom NEVER let me win. I went through a lot of losing and a lot of tantrums. Each time she let me whine and cry and treated it like any other tantrum. She explained that you win some and lose some and then she ignored it. When I got no reaction I would often come back and sheepishly ask to play again.

After about a year of this I finally got tired of the whole poor sport routine and just wanted to play. Before you jump on my mom for being to harsh, think about what she did. She let me experience a natural human disappointment with losing. Each time I lost I had to deal with the emotion until I was able to control it and enjoy playing the game.

I am amazed at her patience because now I am the best sport. I love to compete but I'm okay with losing. She found a method that worked for me.

On a side note...she was also against "sore winning". We came up with the "Winner Cleans Up" rule for games. If the winner gloated to much they had to clean up the game all by themselves. If they were gracious winners the "losers" would help them.

Each child is different. But the goal is the same. They have to learn to experience emotions and practice self-control. A hard concept for some parents and their kids these days.

Posted by: LiLi | July 29, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Second place only means that you are the first loser!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"to: makes no sense - you're right; you are making no sense."

ArmyBrat, do you usually insult somebody on this blog if they challange an idea of yours?

How juvenile!

Posted by: makes no sense | July 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Second place only means that you are the first loser!"

Roger Federer got paid 375,000 pounds (about $743,000 US) for finishing second at Wimbledon.

Rocco Mediate got paid $810,000 US for finishing second to Tiger Woods at the US Open.

If that's "loser pay", I'll take it any time!

Posted by: m2j5c2 | July 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"ArmyBrat, do you usually insult somebody on this blog if they challange an idea of yours?"

Depends. I'm certainly far from perfect (just ask my wife and kids) and I learn a lot from people rebutting some of my ideas. Cogent "challenges" to my ideas are generally treated with the respect they deserve, and I'm more than happy to acknowledge a mistake (such as the corn/soybeans thing the other day :-).

Diatribes from trolls, however, are generally ignored, or they draw the "insults" you seem concerned about.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"ArmyBrat, do you usually insult somebody on this blog if they challange an idea of yours?"

Spelling Police!! Mofo!

Posted by: ArmyBrat's Scientology handler | July 29, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Diatribes from trolls, however, are generally ignored"

But ArmyBrat, you took the bait hook, line and sinker.

Then gobbled the spelling mistake for desert!

Posted by: makes no sense | July 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Then gobbled the spelling mistake for desert!

Spelling Police again for the same a-hole!


Posted by: AB's Scientology handler | July 29, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

to makes no sense and his left hand typing at 9:49:

Go. Away.

The preacher in Hairspray described you perfectly:


"There's a whole lotta ugly out there, coming at us from a never-ending parade of stupid."

Posted by: moxiemom is actually 29 | July 29, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I have been very lucky that neither of my boys has an issue with losing. They seem to be drawn by some inner voice that tells them to have fun and not compete. They aren't the best at any sport (they're still under 6) because they don't compete hard, but they enjoy themselves and are learning the rules of the games, so at this age I'm happy with their progress. There is one kid on my son's soccer team who is very interested in winning and cheats when he's losing and all the kids talk about him when he throws a tantrum. I think his bad example has scared off my kids from being too competitive.

Posted by: DCer | July 29, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"There's a whole lotta ugly out there, coming at us from a never-ending parade of stupid."

Posted by: moxiemom is actually 29 | July 29, 2008 10:39 AM

Classic MM!!

Posted by: I love it! | July 29, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm more than happy to acknowledge a mistake (such as the corn/soybeans thing the other day :-).

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 10:21 AM

We dont need parenting advice from you flyover people. We want our kids to actually be successful, go to good schools, and have established careers. We don't want their lives to consist of workin' at the factory and going home in their pickup truck.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

They're also experimenting with ways to handle their frustration and desire for control

So you can't say: They are also.........

I see many sentences that correctly start this way???

Posted by: I hate the grammar po po | July 29, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"We don't want their lives to consist of workin' at the factory and going home in their pickup truck."

Of course you don't, but you want to buy the products that are made by the fly overs. Earth to all you DCers, there is a big, big country out there just waiting to be explored. Do you really think that there aren't good schools and good jobs in places besides DC??????????????????

I know for the most part there are better people.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"We don't want their lives to consist of workin' at the factory and going home in their pickup truck."

That does sound a lot like AB's wife.

Posted by: Interesting viewpoint | July 29, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I know for the most part there are better people.

Posted by: | July 29, 2008 10:55 AM

Oh sure - there are TONS of better people. The FLDS polygamous sects, the unabobmer, etc. Such wonderful people. You flyover parents know how to raise your kids!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was considered a genius at a young age. He attended Harvard University, and then the University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics. He later became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, at age 25

Posted by: the unabomber bio! | July 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"But ArmyBrat, you took the bait hook, line and sinker.

Then gobbled the spelling mistake for desert!"

You could very well be right. It may be that I wound up wasting my time chasing a troll down a hole by bothering to read and respond to your inconsiderate and borderline-illiterate posts. If so, I'll just chalk that up as yet another lesson in the school of life and move on.

See, I can admit when I've made a mistake. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Oh sure - there are TONS of better people. The FLDS polygamous sects, the unabobmer, etc. Such wonderful people. You flyover parents know how to raise your kids!"

Timothy McVeigh

Posted by: Yup | July 29, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

to anon @ 10:46: "We dont need parenting advice from you flyover people. We want our kids to actually be successful, go to good schools, and have established careers. We don't want their lives to consist of workin' at the factory and going home in their pickup truck."

This is so funny on so many levels that I was trying to decide the best way to respond. Then I finally figured that it's mostly troll-droppings, because nobody could really be that clueless. So I decided to respond thusly:

what, precisely, does this have to do with the topic of teaching your children to win with dignity and lose with honor?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Timothy McVeigh"

This is a pointless exercise.

Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono.
David Berkowitz.
Joel Rifkin.

See, we can go on forever, but what good would it do?

Posted by: Stop it now!!!!! | July 29, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

My boys are almost-6 and almost-4, and it's a very similar situation to Stacey's. The older one handles the ups and downs of sometimes winning, sometimes losing pretty well. The younger one will ask "is this a winning game?" and will sometimes decide not to play "because I don't want to not win." We haven't really seen the temper tantrums, but I know the younger one doesn't like to use.

We're trying the tips outlined, but I do think this is just a developmental stage. They say that preschoolers don't want to admit they did something "bad" b/c in their minds it makes them "bad." Along the same lines, I think it is hard for kids this age to realize that you can lose one game and then win the next time.

Posted by: nvamom | July 29, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"We dont need parenting advice from you flyover people. We want our kids to actually be successful, go to good schools, and have established careers. We don't want their lives to consist of workin' at the factory and going home in their pickup truck."


Yep, let them grow up to be greedy,unfriendly, self centered backstabbers obsessed with their careers and status. That's the coastal way. But hey they are successful right? No thanks, you spare.....

Posted by: flyover, the real world | July 29, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This is one reason why I tend to not let my cousin's beat me at stuff. One, it makes them appreciate beating me. Two, it gives them something to strive for. And three, it teaches them that they will in fact lose in life. They know their "uncle" will beat them if he can, and that they have to try their hardest with me. Plus I don't let them cheat.

Posted by: Chris | July 29, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I am glad my son hates to lose. I worry about those who don't care. That's scary. Life grinds those people up.

Posted by: hmm | July 29, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"This is one reason why I tend to not let my cousin's beat me at stuff. One, it makes them appreciate beating me"

There's no better feeling than when you beat your dad at something fair and square. It is a milestone to be cherished. It also makes dad very proud.(deep down, although he will never admit it)

Posted by: so true | July 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat - 10 to 1 the people arguing with you don't have your good track record with raising kids. You know the type: all carp, all the time. No real experience, just botox. Now there is a good topic-- the botox parent: never let them see you sweat.

and why are people still arguing about flyover country? Or is this argument really a shorthand for elitism and materialism? (alleged, of course)

Posted by: to Army Brat | July 29, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't one of the richest, most driven men in the world - Warren Buffet - live in classic flyover country?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

and why are people still arguing about flyover country? Or is this argument really a shorthand for elitism and materialism? (alleged, of course)

Posted by: to Army Brat | July 29, 2008 11:29 AM


Umm, no. We're stating facts. Flyover country is full of yahoos and inbreds.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 11:16 AM "

Classic flyover country. The KKK chapter is a big clue.

Posted by: Sigh | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

and where does the second anon at 11:32 live? In his/her parents house likely. Upstairs or basement bedroom? Doesn't your school start soon?

Posted by: to the second anon at 11:32 | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

and where does the second anon at 11:32 live? In his/her parents house likely. Upstairs or basement bedroom? Doesn't your school start soon?

Posted by: to the second anon at 11:32 | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM

where do YOU live? In the same house as your husband, who's also your brother and grandfather at the same time?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Classic flyover country"

Oh, what the heck - I'm on another interminable conference call that the customer in Silicon Valley thinks is productive, so I'll ask:

what do you define as "flyover country?" Please be specific - which states; which cities? Or alternatively, everything EXCEPT which cities or states?

(I'll give you a clue: there are 50 states in all, so you'll need to account for each of them.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Can't resist quoting one of MY favorite movie lines:

In that wonderful movie "Akeelah and the Bee" about the National Spelling Bee, there's the ultracompetitive Asian father who berates the kid by asking him:
"Hey, you wanna be number two your whole life?"

The idea is that you're supposed to feel sorry for the kid whose father is so obsessed with winning that he misses out on all the other experiences along the way.

We've kind of got this routine in our house where one of us will say "You wanna be number two your whole life?" and the other family members will say 'Yeah, actually, I think I do. Number two sounds OK to me."

And then there's the nutso mom this summer I caught yelling at her kid at the swim meet "Number two is nothing! You might as well not even waste your time!" Class act, that one.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"ArmyBrat - 10 to 1 the people arguing with you don't have your good track record with raising kids. "

How do you know ArmyBrat's track record with raising kids?

Posted by: to ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I haven't lived with my parents since 1979, way before you were born. I've cared inhouse for dying in-laws. My kids have graduate degrees and live in various states in the US and latin america. None of my kids currently live in the same state as I do, as they are in the exploration stage of life. Sadly, my grandparents passed back in the late 80s. So what's your story? Downstairs basement with nacho cheese doritos and mountain dew is my guess.

Posted by: to the second anon at 11:32 | July 29, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat posted for a long time on both OP and OB. ArmyBrat posts sense and sensibility.

Posted by: to to ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

i wouldn't say that life grinds up those who don't want to win. there are some people for whom quality of life is more important than winning.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 11:16 AM "

Classic flyover country. The KKK chapter is a big clue.

Posted by: Sigh | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM

-------------------------

Uh, New York is now flyover country?

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"ArmyBrat posted for a long time on both OP and OB. ArmyBrat posts sense and sensibility."

Um, windbag AB is a cyberstranger on the Net. No way to verify info.

Posted by: ???? | July 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

At least if we are going to have this argument (which I don't recommend because there is no right answer, e.g., it makes as much sense as devoting a blog to whether Duke or Maryland is the better team to support, let's stick to the phrase that offends: "flyover country"

There is no such term as, "flyover people".

ArmyBrat's got a lot more class than the one silly troll living on microwave popcorn and doing whatever it is people do for a living in flyover country.


Posted by: P.U. | July 29, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

In today's news from Postville, Iowa (AP) -

Scores of Somali immigrants are taking jobs at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville. They are replacing Hispanic workers arrested in a huge immigration raid on May 12.

Before the raid, hundreds of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants maintained a vibrant community in Postville, a largely white community of 2,200 people in northeast Iowa.

The influx of Somalis has been met with some surprise in a community still bewildered by the Agriprocessors raid.

It's not the first cultural change in Postville. The slaughterhouse attracted eastern Europeans in the 1990s, including immigrants from Bosnia, Poland, Russia and former Soviet Republics. Hispanics became the majority in the last decade. . . .

Posted by: Same news, different place | July 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 11:16 AM "

Classic flyover country. The KKK chapter is a big clue.

Posted by: Sigh | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM

-------------------------

Uh, New York is now flyover country?

Posted by: Let the facts in! | July 29, 2008 12:05 PM

Western New York is the armpit of the state.

Posted by: In every way | July 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The excitement continues.

In Kansas City news, A former H&R Block Inc. lawyer has joined ranks with Bryan Cave LLP's Kansas City office.

Brian Christensen, previously an in-house counsel with the Kansas City-based tax preparation company (NYSE: HRB), will join the firm as counsel in its commercial litigation, and labor and employment client service groups.

Posted by: Breaking News in KS | July 29, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Western New York is the armpit of the state.

Posted by: In every way | July 29, 2008 12:12 PM

would that be everything west of Manhattan in your view? Because Troy and Albany are so sophisticated. You really are an idiot operating on few facts and lots of unhappiness.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Donut shop opens!!

Posted by: More breaking news in flyover country | July 29, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Swap meet!
Church social!
Tractor pull!
Demolition derby!
Greased pole climbing contest!
Bull castration knives' sale!

Posted by: For your consideration | July 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Swap meet!
Church social!
Tractor pull!
Demolition derby!
Greased pole climbing contest!
Bull castration knives' sale!

Posted by: For your consideration | July 29, 2008 12:24 PM

Posted by: Don't knock 'em until you tried 'em | July 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The Post has a thing about water these days. From the Traveling blog comes:

The NRDC study draws special attention to the beaches that were found to be contaminated with bacteria more than 25% of the time in 2007, bacteria that was likely the result of human or animal waste coming into contact with the water. Such contamination can readily cause gastrointestinal illnesses both mild and serious.

In some cases beaches were closed as a result, in others only an advisory was issued. A staggering 131 beaches in 23 states fall into this category, including 11 in Maryland and 1 in Virginia. Here, according to the report, are the 12 dirtiest beaches in our area, along with the percentage of time the water quality was determined to be unacceptable.

Colchester Beach, MD (Anne Arundel County) - 42%
Carpenters Point Beach, MD (Cecil) - 40%
Fairview Beach, VA (King George) - 38%
Buttonwood Beach, MD (Cecil) - 36%
Duck Neck Campground, MD (Queen Anne's) - 36%
Kinnard's Point, MD (Kent) - 36%
Sandy Hill Camp, MD (Cecil) - 33%
Charlestown Manor, MD (Cecil) - 30%
Quaker Neck Public Landing, MD (Kent) - 30%
Manhattan Beach at Cypress Creek, MD (Anne Arundel) - 28%
Crystal Beach Manor, MD (Cecil) - 27%
Tolchester Estates Beach, MD (Kent) - 26%

Posted by: Don't go in the water!! | July 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that some anonymous coward posted that "life grinds up" people who don't care about winning.

I disagree completely. There are many personality types we know that I associate with not caring about winning and one of them is the easy going person who steps out of the rat race to run a bar in key west or be an artist or work for their religion. We all know one or two of our friends from high school who did that (I know a guy who runs a surfing school and lives, literally, in a shack on the beach in Costa Rica). It's not my lifestyle, but he's literally loving every minute of his life. I think it would be completely false to say that life was grinding him up in the way that my need to "win" has me in graduate school working in Washington, DC for 10 hour days. I think life grinds up people focused on winning much more than those who don't give a ****.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"I noticed that some anonymous coward posted that "life grinds up" people who don't care about winning"

Do you really think that a person who doesn't "sign" a post on the Net is a "coward"?

Posted by: Jake | July 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone see the irony that someone making such a ridiculously stupid statement that people in rural areas are ignorant and inbred, shows they themselves are breathtakingly ignorant?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Do you really think that a person who doesn't "sign" a post on the Net is a "coward"?"

Sigh. Newbies on the net. :-(

The term "anonymous coward" has been used for anonymous posters since at least the mid-1980s. It was common on the various Usenet groups for years, then really became popular once Slashdot adopted the convention. It's a general term of endearment, rather than a particular insult.

Yes, I have been around that long, and yes, I am older than dirt. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that some anonymous coward posted that "life grinds up" people who don't care about winning.
Posted by: | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM


Posted by: talk about irony | July 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The term "anonymous coward" has been used for anonymous posters since at least the mid-1980s. It was common on the various Usenet groups for years, then really became popular once Slashdot adopted the convention. It's a general term of endearment, rather than a particular insult.

Yes, I have been around that long, and yes, I am older than dirt. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 12:37 PM

ArmyBrat - could you please let someone else answer a question?

Posted by: Sheesh | July 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think life grinds up people focused on winning much more than those who don't give a ****.

Posted by: | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM

i totally agree because there can be only 1 winner.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

i totally agree because there can be only 1 winner.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 12:55 PM

Mamma Mia!

Posted by: ABBA | July 29, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Western New York is the armpit of the state.

Producing such D.C. "losers" as Tim Russert and Mark Russell.

Posted by: Yea, right | July 29, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Fred from New Orleans: Since you have not seen fit to publish any of my comments from the last five weeks, I am not sending one this week. "

"Gene Weingarten: Great! "

Is this the OB Fred?

Posted by: From today's Chatological Humor | July 29, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

There (not their) is absolutely nothing wrong with the 4th paragraph of this post. "They're also experimenting with ways to handle their frustration and desire for control," is correct. Or is this some kind of joke for grammar geeks like me to jump all over? I wonder...

Posted by: mrs. r | July 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah - looking at wrong paragraph. Strike that one from the record. Cheers all!

Posted by: mrs.r | July 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Is this the OB Fred?

Also known as Fun Facts about Illinois, Mako and Songster, among others.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Fred's also Jed Clampett

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

next you will be accusing him of being Army Brat!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"next you will be accusing him of being Army Brat!"

Nooo waay. OB Fred is sweet & unassuming cuz he has nothing to prove, like most of the big ones.

Posted by: GC | July 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris

"This is one reason why I tend to not let my cousin's beat me at stuff."

Grammar Police!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

didn't this blog post something about the idea of kids sports that don't keep score or that give trophies for participation? maybe it was a comment about the county rec leagues vs other sports leagues. don't remember the details..was it one of brian's blogs about the value of sports?

yeah, that guy living in a shack in costa rica teaching surfing. sounds like a loser to me.... i'm sure he has trouble getting out of bed in the mornings since life grinds on him so badly (not). i can't say that isn't the life i would want but there are definitely times when it's tempting.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse


I suspect there are many posting as Mako.

The real Mako, though, probably isn't Fred. After all, he's too busy scolding one of his babies for nipping at Ryan Seacrest's toes.

Posted by: Algebrina | July 29, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Fred has already said he is the Songster and probably Fred from New Orleans. That all fits but these other names, nah, I just don't think so.

Posted by: read OB & OP for quite a while | July 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Who cares who Fred and Army Brat and ATB and the rest of those flyover folks are? They are imbeciles who dont know how to raise kids.

Posted by: who cares? | July 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Jed's creator thinks his schtick is funny, day after day. He's got a tin ear for humor.

Fred's too smart to pretend to be a one-trick pony.

Posted by: MN | July 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat - could you please let someone else answer a question?

Posted by: Sheesh | July 29, 2008 12:41 PM

We're not in grade school, Sheesh. You wanna answer? Post a responsive comment. Leave ArmyBrat be with his smart, congenial self.

Posted by: Cordelia | July 29, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Our family's issue was an older cousin who would try to cheat when my young nephews would start to win. We really had to watch closely to keep things fair.

And I will add that I really dislike and would advise against the "tickle the winner" idea. That comes too close to "it's ok to physically attack when you don't get your way" and I know SOOO many people who were traumatized through tickling as a kid.

Too many people think that because you're laughing it's fun- it's your physical space and shouldn't be let in just like any other touching.

Posted by: Liz D | July 29, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat - could you please let someone else answer a question?

Posted by: Sheesh | July 29, 2008 12:41 PM

We're not in grade school, Sheesh. You wanna answer? Post a responsive comment. Leave ArmyBrat be with his smart, congenial self.

Posted by: Cordelia | July 29, 2008 2:10 PM


You guys are upsetting me. Please don't fight. I don't want to start crying.

Posted by: Cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

You guys are upsetting me. Please don't fight. I don't want to start crying.

Posted by: Cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:17 PM

Your act is getting very old.......

Posted by: down with cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I have to go to the library to read the blog and haven't had a chance to post. I do miss reading it with my tea at home but now that I am staying at my parent's I can't do that anymore.
My husband likes to play games with the children and he doesn't let them win. If they do win it is honestly. They are both so happy that he spends a few minutes with them that they don't care what they do.
My son wants to play baseball this year. I think he should but my husband is afraid that he will not be very good and get discouraged. I told him that it is partly his fault if our son can't play well since he never went out and even threw a ball around with him when we lived together.
I am trying to find a job so I can get an apartment for us. Cross your fingers all please.

Posted by: Donna | July 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Fred is me? Wait, let me check... nope, Fred's not me. I don't think he's Mako or Jed either - too much of a one trick pony act for Fred. He could easily be "Fun Facts About Illinois," though.

For all those who keep calling me a flyover person - why do you think so? What do you consider "flyover country?"

To Sheesh: well, I could let someone else answer the question, but then I wouldn't be the "winner" with everybody else not winning. :-) Seriously, grow up!

And thanks to all for the nice compliments. :-)

quark, you're probably thinking about one of the last OB blogs, which was about kids' sports.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Donna, I'm in tears reading about your current situation and am crossing my fingers for you. I hope you get all the help you need from your parents. Please let me know if I can be of any help. I could maybe bake you some muffins to make you feel better!

Posted by: Cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares who Fred and Army Brat and ATB and the rest of those flyover folks are?"

I do!

I miss the OB gang - IrishGirl, Megan, pATRICK, Fo4, KLB, foamgnome.., and Leslie's air-headed comments. This blog doesn't stack up to the debunked OB column.

Posted by: Gone are the good old days | July 29, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Your act is getting very old.......

Posted by: down with cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:21 PM

-----------------------

Yes, down with Cecelia, all those fakes who have been mocking me today. Other than this one, my only post today has been about the cake icing.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 29, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I could maybe bake you some muffins to make you feel better!

Posted by: Cecelia | July 29, 2008 2:25 PM

Virtual muffins are not as good as virtual flan.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm in tears reading about your current situation

Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist about clinical depression.

Posted by: to Cecilia | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm in tears reading about your current situation

Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist about clinical depression.

Posted by: to Cecilia | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM

She could go with Donna, who feels the need to update anonymous bloggers about her crumbling marriage.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"For all those who keep calling me a flyover person - why do you think so? What do you consider "flyover country?"

Generally, flyover country is the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. It was heavily used during the 2000 election to refer to states in which GWB was ahead and popular. Despite protestations to the contrary from their respective fan base, flyover country includes Chicago and St. Louis. Anywhere between the coasts in which you wouldn't want to stop.

You don't live in flyover country. The person using that derogatory term hasn't a clue what it means.

Posted by: alrighty now | July 29, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is the world is Fred and why should I care about him?

Posted by: Sas | July 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Billie R updated anons about her issues about her marriage and the ex (if it wasn't Billie R, then who was it?). Mona wrote about her relationship too. It's been done before. Sometimes just writing it down on an anonymous blog helps people understand their inner issues. As least that is the way I look at it.

Donna, stick up for yourself. You don't need someone to validate your decisions.

Offtopic--saw an honestly offensive bumpersticker yesterday-vaginatarian (and there were two girls in the car) opinions?

Posted by: crumbling marriages | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist about clinical depression.

I've never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. And when i started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn't believe in psychology...
You don't know the history of psychiatry...
And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That's what it does. That's all it does. You're not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance...But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There's ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things. I'm not saying that that isn't real. That's not what I'm saying. That's an alteration of what-- what I'm saying. I'm saying that drugs aren't the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They're mind-altering, anti-psychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don't end up in a brave new world...
If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay? That's what I've done. Then you go and you say where's-- where's the medical test?...
I don't talk about things that I don't understand.

Posted by: Tom Cruise | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't talk about things that I don't understand.

Posted by: Tom Cruise | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM

Cognitive dissonance alert! Cognitive dissonance alert!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"Offtopic--saw an honestly offensive bumpersticker yesterday-vaginatarian (and there were two girls in the car) opinions?"

That's a crude synonym for lesbian (popularized in "Say it Isn't So"). Would you have been as offended to see the pink triangle or yellow-equals-sign-on-a-blue-background?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, Billie R updated anons about her issues about her marriage and the ex"

And Billie R is still with the loser hubby and continuing her doormat ways despite all of the obvious red flags.

Meanwhile, Leslie "I have a temper" still yells at her kids & fights with Perry.

Posted by: Natural Selection | July 29, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"That's a crude synonym for lesbian (popularized in "Say it Isn't So"). "

Is that the same as ArmyBrat kissed a girl and "liked it"?

Posted by: Curious | July 29, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Why are you so preoccupied with Ms. Steiner? It is difficult to tell whether you are hopelessly jealous or unhealthily obsessed.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Why are you so preoccupied with Ms. Steiner? It is difficult to tell whether you are hopelessly jealous or unhealthily obsessed. "

Jealous - a Top Ten MM buzzword, along with "selfish" and "bitter".


Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

thanks armybrat. the subject sounds familiar. it's just wrapped a little differently.
when i play board games with my son i don't lose on purpose so that when my son does win he knows it is real. i've told him that but i'm not sure if he understand it yet. some board games are all luck like sorry. others are some luck & some skill and then others are all skill. he is better at losing games that are luck because he knows that there is no skill involved. we're still working on getting him to understand that there are going to be people who are better than he is & that's ok.

Posted by: quark | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hold it! I don't live in flyover country. I live in DC. Well, I live 2 blocks into MD, so technically I live near DC.

I hate poor winners and poor losers. It's true that no one likes to play with them. It's a great way to be a real loser with no friends. And believe me, these douchebags can hang onto their sore tendencies well into their 30s and beyond, and they won't hesitate to show their ugly side even on a friendly Kickball field.

Posted by: atb | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Jealous - a Top Ten MM buzzword, along with "selfish" and "bitter".

Posted by: | July 29, 2008 3:27 PM

So I guess the answer is, "unhealthily obsessed". Get treatment for that problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"

"That's a crude synonym for lesbian (popularized in "Say it Isn't So"). "

Is that the same as ArmyBrat kissed a girl and "liked it"?"

Huh? I'm hopelessly confused.

Kissed a girl? Yep, every chance I get :-) Liked it? A lot. Starts to explain those four kids the wife and I have.

What's that got to do with crude synonyms for 'lesbian?'

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 29, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat, They aren't worth your time and effort.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"I miss the OB gang - IrishGirl, Megan, pATRICK, Fo4, KLB, foamgnome.., and Leslie's air-headed comments. This blog doesn't stack up to the debunked OB column.

Posted by: Gone are the good old days | July 29, 2008 2:31 PM "

I agree, most of the regulars were interesting and some were very clever. These posts are dull and repetitive

Posted by: Where have you gone mrs. steiner? | July 29, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hold it! I don't live in flyover country. I live in DC. Well, I live 2 blocks into MD, so technically I live near DC.

Posted by: atb | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM

Well you sound like an idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Kids figuring out how to cheat in order to win is good practice for getting ahead in adult life. Playing by the rules is for losers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

STACEY, PLEASE REMOVE OFFENSIVE POST AT 5:07 PM.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Quite true. It seems that the old OB regulars have mostly jumped this sinking ship. The only things left on it are the trolls.

Posted by: Those were the days | July 29, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

If a troll posts on the blogosphere and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yep. An idiot with a PhD. That's me!

Posted by: atb | July 30, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Yep. An idiot with a PhD. That's me!

Posted by: atb | July 30, 2008 8:18 AM

Thanks for proving that (1) if you pay enough money, you can always get some institution to give you a degree; and (2) education does not equal common sense.

Posted by: Mona Lisa | July 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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