The busier life gets, the more important it is to slow down. Take time and listen. One thing we try to do every night is play a game together. This doesn’t happen every single night, but most nights it does. We have done it for years now. Richard isn’t always able to get home to have dinner with the boys, as I don’t want to be feeding them at 6:30-7:00pm when they go to bed at 8pm. But, he is home in time to play our game.
This is our time to spend as a family. We have played games with the boys since they were about 3 years old. We love all kinds of games. We have a whole shelf of games in the basement. We have so many versions of Monopoly and Clue, two of the boys favorites. We are always searching for games that a fast and fun as well as those that take longer and make you think.
What we play isn’t as important as the fact that we do play. There are so many life lessons that are taught in learning to play games. I’m always shocked when I’m teaching and children do not know how to count spaces on a board game. Family game time is a time to connect. It is a time to show children how to be good winners and how to be good losers. You don’t get a participation trophy for playing along, you don’t need a good job for winning or too bad for losing. There is competition for competitions sake. There are a bit of bragging rights at times, but we move on and go on.
It is a great opportunity to chat about little things, listen to music and settle down before bedtime. Quite often we start card games and they continue over a few nights, this teaches delayed gratification, having to wait until the next night to finish and find out who won.
I use it as a time to “read” my guys. I can take the time to see if any of them need a bit of extra attention, a bit of prodding on how their day went and what’s going on in life.
I wish more families made time to play games, not electronic games, real board and card games together. Spend time being together. I know I will continue this as long as possible, and my guess is the boys will want to also!