Put yourself in their shoes

I love participating in Scholastic Chess tournaments (alongside my son); first, I don’t have to wait outside the game room, anxious and helpless, trying to predict whether my son will win or lose; instead I can be in the same room and I get to see him from across the board;   second, I get to play chess and improve my own skills in the process; maybe even get some rating points; and third, and not less important, it is a rather humbling experience to get beat-up by 7-8 year olds; I always find it refreshing for my point of view on the world.

Today I took my son to a local chess tourney at bayareachess, where “chess parents” are allowed (I would even say “encouraged”) to play with the kids, so I jumped on the occasion. The kids I played against were really good and I really enjoyed every game;  by the end of the day I felt completely exhausted.

We, parents, have a tendency to stand on the sidelines, and give advise to our kids after each game: “why did you give up the queen like this?” or “didn’t you see what he was planning?”; today’s experience reminded me how difficult it really is to play in these tournaments, and how “putting yourself in their shoes” periodically is valuable — it gives  you a whole new perspective on how to be helpful to your son or daughter.

This, I think, is also true for many other aspects of life. When providing advise, put yourself in the receiving end, if you can, and I guarantee your advise will become exponentially more valuable.

4 thoughts on “Put yourself in their shoes

  1. Nice post Ofer. I played in July Freedom tournament with my son – Now I have a new found appreciation for what these events demand of kids. I also realize how easy it is to make one simple mistake or lose a winning game.

    So I will think twice before I come down on Advait for a mistake or silly move 🙂

    Actually, it should be the other way around – he finished ahead of me and made some money!!

    Hope to see you and Daniel at the labor day tournament – Siva.

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