Sometimes you get to climb the top really quickly and other times, you get eaten by snakes.
This is a lesson I was trying to teach my daughter one night. I invited her to play a game of Snakes and Ladders with me. It was her very first time. She was five years old at the time and extremely intelligent for her age and also emotionally sensitive. When she started realising that the game wasn’t as easy as it looks, she didn’t enjoy it at first. She didn’t like losing. In fact, she took it so hard, that she started crying the moment she realised that I was winning the game. I explained to her that the point of the game is to go through challenges and I told her that, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I tried to make her understand that its okay to lose sometimes.
She wanted to stop playing and told me that she is the worst player ever and that I am better than her. Then she started listing a whole bunch of other things that she believed she was bad at.
What I told her is that the game is all about learning, much like the life we live. You have to keep playing the game and should never give up. That’s how you see if you’re good at the game. That’s how you see if you can win.
I explained to her that she should at least try to make it to the top and see if she can do it. It took some time and some convincing but eventually it worked. We continued to play the game and she kept asking me, “Mommy am I almost at the top?” and I told her not to worry about what’s at the top but to instead focus on where she is. I told her something many of us have heard a million times; focus on the journey and not the destination.
She felt better, even on the turns when she got swallowed up by snakes. I kept on reminding her that it is okay; just keep playing the game. I hoped that she would remember what I was telling her.
At the end of the game, she won and in a way, so did I because I taught my daughter and myself a valuable lesson;
Keep playing the game and never give up!