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  • Grow-Families

More Than Just a Game

Our family has chosen to make family game night a priority. We have seen so many positive changes in ourselves as individuals, as well as within our family dynamics. I believe more than ever that a family who plays together stays together.

We have always made sure that we sit and eat dinner (or at least one meal of the day) together. We have had family together time, like something simple in the form of movie night or taking a trip somewhere. We have always been focusing on our family bonding through time spent together. There are many great ways to grow closer together as a family, however, I strongly recommend playing games together as a family. Here are my reasons why:

Learning each other’s strengths & weaknesses

Not everyone can lose a game humbly and not everyone can win a game modestly. We have been given the opportunity as parents to model these traits as well as to teach our children what it means to be “a good loser” and to congratulate their sibling on a win.

Honesty at all cost

Everyone knows that person who cheats in everything… no one wants to play with a cheater! Teaching our children to play honestly regardless of the outcome is not as easy as it may seem. Allowing another roll of the dice or picking a different card because they didn’t get what they wanted or it seemed unfair… to allow this is cheating and dishonesty… no matter how much you as a parent want to change an outcome for your child, they must learn the unfairness of the world… life happens and instead, we have the perfect opportunity to teach our children how to graciously keep going.

In a game, like Monopoly for example, even though the other player may not realize you have landed on their property, it is your responsibility to be honest and pay that player. No one likes to be ‘caught out’ or feel like the are being ‘punished’. This is a perfect example true to life & honesty. If you are speeding whilst driving, and you are fined, it is your responsibility to take ownership for your actions. By teaching our children the simple rule of honesty in a game, it can help them in being an honest person through life. Everyone appreciates honesty!

A fun form of educating

Even our youngest child can “play” a game. Teaching a child to count, recognize colors or shapes, building & creating… there are so many different games for even the youngest player. Our older children can learn through trivia games, mathematical games, creative games. Even as parents, we can learn and be educated through games.

Serving one another

Yes, we can serve each other in a game setting. Simply taking turns is serving one another. Waiting patiently is an act of serving. Anything that puts someone else before yourself is a form of servant-hood. Our children have the opportunity through games to learn what it means to not be selfish and again, this is something we as parents can model to them.

Challenging our differences

Not everyone has been blessed with a creative side, nor has everyone been given an analytical mind. Some of us are not quick thinkers as we like to process our thoughts first. Whether the game involves speed, skill, creativity, knowledge or other, we can learn from each other and appreciate our unique differences within our family.

There are so many types of games in the market, so there really is no excuse for NOT playing something together. If time is an excuse (like it was for me) then hear the words of the wise: Make time! If your family is important to you, then you will make time. Don’t expect to find time… you have to diligently make the time.

If resources are your reason for not playing games, like perhaps you don’t have any games or financially aren’t able to afford them, then here are a few suggestions:

-Thrift stores usually get donations of games & a variety of them. Sometime the old fashioned games are enjoyed more.

- The Dollar Store has games like “Pick-Up-Sticks” & card games… for $1… be creative… you will find there is plenty to play for $1.

- Start a “Rotation Game Club/ Community”. Get some of your friends, or classmates from your child’s school to take part in rotating games. The same way you would have a library of books, you could start a library of games.

- Family Gifts. Christmas is a great time to give your family a gift of a new game each year, or ask family members to give one gift of a game instead of gifts for each individual. You will be surprised how quickly your inventory stocks up.

- FREE Games. Think about games like “Charades”. All this entails is creativity. Pinterest and other media sites are filled with ideas if you need help being creative.

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