A Ku Indeed!

My Daughter Cheats

Posted in Parker by Chris on November 3, 2008

Last night my mom was playing Candyland with Parker and I caught Parker cheating. Everytime she went, she looked through the pile of cards to find the ones that would make her move the furthest towards the finish line. Now she knows this isn’t how you play, so she was cheating. It made me think of MacIntyre and the internal/external good distinction. Clearly Parker hasn’t yet learned that there are worthwhile “internal goods” associated with playing games. She’s fixated on the external good of the pleasure of winning! I guess at three that’s okay. That said, I’m not sure how many internal goods you can acquire playing Candyland.


3 Responses

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  1. Jay Mullen said, on November 3, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, Trey has cheated at Candyland too. This was a favorite bedtime game of ours up until a few months ago (no coincidence, I think, with the birth of our 3rd that this ritual has been thrown for a loop). I think it’s natural to want the pleasure of winning, as you say. What’s also interesting is I’ve been known to discreetly cheat as well, almost always for the benefit of Trey (and, if not, to shorten the game), as sometimes you want to produce the outcome with the maximal parental/child joy.

  2. Bill Haines said, on November 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Why DO people enjoy Candyland? I vaguely remember finding the pictures of candy exciting, and there was also something exciting about the colored cards. “You never know what you’re going to get.” But those aren’t the main attractions perhaps.

    Maybe it’s about the experience, however illusory, of achievement?
    Or a kind of competition/conflict with others that is nevertheless safe?

  3. Chris said, on November 3, 2008 at 9:17 pm


    I’ve cheated too — exactly for the reasons you cite. The last two times really to help Parker out. Each time, she was one card away from winning and was about the pull the candy-cane card — you know, the one that sends you back to the beginning again. I did the ol’ stealth change of the card to make sure she won.


    When I was a kid, I loved Candyland. It’s a pretty boring game, but from the perspective of a 3 yr old, it must be pretty fun. I don’t like, however, that they’ve changed the board since when I was a kid. Of the changes, the one I dislike the most is the fact that “Ice Cream Floats” — which was my favorite spot on the board — is not there anymore. Very uncool.

    I definitely think it’s about the feeling of achievement. I’ve also been watching her closely on the competition/conflict front, mostly because she really shouldn’t have a clue what that’s all about, so I’ve been curious to see what her reactions would be to a competitive environment. Oddly enough, even though I’ve caught her cheating, to be fair when she wins she seems pretty determined to say that “everyone won.” I haven’t objected to that!

    Cheating to share the wealth? I guess she figures it’s best when the wealth is “spread around”. 🙂

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