WHEN THEY LET THEM CHEAT
DEAR ABBY: I was raised from an early age that if you play a game, you have to play fair and obey the rules. Those rules were never bent regardless of what the game was or who we played with.
Over the years I have played games with many people, and while I realize it's possible for people to play the same game slightly differently, the rules still applied. What I don't understand is cheating.
A couple I know allow their children to play games with adults and let them cheat. What they're doing is obvious, and their parents even joke about it. I no longer enjoy playing with this family, but I don't know what to do or say. I have tried to subtly discourage and stop the deceptions, but I don't want to seem like a sore loser. Any suggestions? -- PLAYS BY THE RULES, URBANA, OHIO
DEAR PLAYS BY THE RULES: Yes. Do not play games with the family if the children are involved. It's not about being a sore loser; it's about not being a chump. By allowing their children to ignore the "rules," these parents are sending the message that rules don't apply to them. Because the children cheat when they play with you, it's safe to assume that they think it's acceptable to do it with other kids. And when their contemporaries realize what's going on, who do you think won't be allowed to join their games -- or anything else? Look at it this way: From little cheaters, big cheaters grow.