We've started playing some simple games with my 2-year-old son, including a simple age-appropriate matching game.
He enjoys playing, but seems (to me, at least) more focused on playing over winning. I think that's perfect.
However, I noticed last night that he always wins.
It turns out that my wife has literally been stacking the deck in his favor. When the game gets towards the end, she starts looking at the tiles, and checking to see if the next one dealt (she's the dealer) would be the winning card. If it would end the game with either her or I winning, she sets it aside and picks the next one. In at least one game she apparently deliberately put all of the tiles that matched her card at the very bottom so they wouldn't get drawn.
When I asked her about it, she said she thought he should win, and that winning would be more fun for him.
Setting aside the implications of lessons about cheating (let's assume that it was subtle enough, and that my son was distracted enough, that he had no clue that the deck was being manipulated), is there any problem with ensuring that he wins each time?
My concern, which I expressed to my wife, is that I want him to enjoy playing games for the sake of playing, and not for the sake of winning. I don't want him to expect to win each time, and then become disappointed when he doesn't. Is this a legitimate concern at his age, or is he simply too young to focus on the competitive side of games, and letting him win is nothing more than a harmless incentive to enjoy playing at this age?
If it isn't a problem at this age, when does it become a problem?