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Guest Post By Laura Sherman
In a world where children are often ignored, where their viewpoints and opinions are overridden by adults on a regular basis, it is wonderfully exhilarating for them to have a realm where they are a king or queen.
You may think that a child needs to be a champion in order to feel good about who they are. Actually I have found that when children simply learn to play chess, just know how to play, they feel a tremendous pride. They sense they have an edge, where others do not. After all not every adult knows how to play, but now they do.
It’s a child’s slightly crooked smile that is the dead give-away. I love seeing that!
As a child learns more and more about the game, they start racking up victories. They begin to realize that with hard work they can win. Children tend to remember the wins.
When I was a child, I remember beating a middle-aged man at a tournament. He was rated quite a bit higher than I, which meant I was supposed to lose. I surprised many (myself included) when I won. It was one game, in rural Connecticut, but it meant a lot to me.
I had many victories over the years and many losses. However that one particular conquest stayed with me, giving me a swagger in my step through my teen years. No loss could take that victory away from me. I was a young child, who had bested someone three times her age.
We need a confident next generation that knows they can accomplish goals and win in life.
We are often greeted with an enthusiastic “CHESS!!!” when we enter a classroom. My husband and I sometimes volunteer time in order to give the children a chance to play. We call it a “chess study hall.” Children love to show off their skills.
Consider teaching your children to play chess. Allow them to be proud of every step they take, praise them and watch their self-confidence soar.
Laura Sherman wrote Chess Is Child’s Play with Bill Kilpatrick. Chess Is Child’s Play teaches any parent, of any skill level, to teach any child, of any age, to play chess.