“What’s in it for me?” That’s a question that is becoming more pervasive in our society. People may not say it out loud, but a lot of times it is the first question people ask themselves when encountering the thought of a new experience.
When thinking about starting a game night with your family, the “What’s in it for me?” question’s answer is: fun family time in which more than just the playing of a game (or two) is accomplished. Game Night with your family provides a time when all the family members can have fun AND open the lines of communication amongst all of the members.
It is not, however, a time when a parent should display how much better he/she is at a game that the child. It’s not that you have to let your child win every time. If the family game is “Old Maid” or “Go Fish” (two common card games that can be played with an ordinary deck of cards) the child losing every once in a while prepares your child for all of society’s forms of competition. Let’s face it, from Kindergarten on, school provides all sorts of competitions – for grades, physical prowess in sports, even citizenship!
Game Night should be a time that all members look forward to. The games should be geared to the age of the child (or children.)
Let each child be in charge of picking one game that everyone can play. Candyland is a great board game for the youngest of children. Guess Who is probably a good choice for a child who has outgrown Candyland but isn’t ready for Monopoly yet. Even a game like Battleship can be played by young family members if they are paired up with an older family member.
If you start Family Game Night when your child is young, you will see that it is a “habit” of sorts, and when your child becomes more involved with outside extracurricular activities that don’t include you, you will be happy that Family Game Night is ingrained in your family’s routine. What better way for all of the family members to enjoy each other and look forward to at least one night a week when everyone comes together?
And remember to turn off all distractions, like cell phones! Leave your work troubles out of Family Fun Night, relax and have fun with your child.