Let Your Kids Teach You To Play!

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Do you remember what it was like to be a kid?  I know that I have been blessed with a very good memory and I can recall most of my childhood.  With that in mind, I want to talk to you today about the benefits of letting your kids teach you to play.

The Adulthood Trap

Spider Web Trap
Don’t get trapped by the webs of disinterest. Take you kid by their hand and let them lead you forward!

What is the adulthood trap?  Well that is the trap that we fall into when a kid wants to play a game with us and we either do not see the value in the game or claim that we don’t understand them.

First lets talk about the value in games.  Often, and especially with younger kids, the games that they want to play offer little to no value to an adult playing the game.  It is times like this that you need to remember that the value for you is the time spent bonding.  I have a plethora of memories of playing games with family when I was young.  These simple moments can and will live on with your kids for their entire lives.

Next up, I don’t understand these games.  Very often I see this happen and unfortunately have even used it myself.  This can happen very easily, especially when it comes to video, computer, and other electronic games.  The best thing to do here is to ask your kids to help you learn how to play and just remember that the time spent with them will be cherished.  I never thought I would figure out how to play the Guitar Hero video games, but my kids loved it and I let them guide me into learning how.

More Than Just Bonding

The most important reason to play with your kids is to have that time to bond with them.  However, there are many other benefits available to your kids and yourself if you look for them.

Chalkboard
By letting your kids teach you, you are really teaching them!

One of the things that I have learned in life and by having three kids, is that sometimes the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.  Whenever we get a new player to a game, such as a friend or neighbor, I like to let the kids explain how to play.  This really helps to reinforce the rules of the game in their mind along with a sense of know how or pride.

Also when you let the kids drive the games, you are teaching them how to communicate more effectively too.  Make sure you ask questions about the rules or the strategies of the games and let them explain things to you.  Think about this on an adult level – how beneficial would it be for your kids to be able to use these skills when they are older?

Wrap Up

There are two important things to remember here  about letting your kids take the wheel.  The first is that these are memories that will last a lifetime with them, make them great ones!  The second is to remember that these skills they are developing now will be boons for them later in life.

I would love to hear what you think about this subject and ask that you share with us in the comments below.  Also it would be great if you could share any stories of how this happened in your life and what the benefits were.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

James W D
james@familygamenightideas.com

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14 Replies to “Let Your Kids Teach You To Play!”

  1. A man after my own heart 🙂 I’m 56 years old and me and my friends still get together regularly for what we call ‘a silly games evening’. I think it’s very important, not only to engage with children using games and play, but also to remember to carry forward the enjoyment you get from games into later life. You’re never too old 🙂

    • I am right there with you Phil! I am a gamer at heart and I share that with my family and friends. Pretty much if its a game, I’ll play it! I know I will be sharing my love of games as long as I am around, that is for sure.

  2. I love this Post. I was just thinking of thinking of this. I love to play with my nephew and niece and they are the experts in play.

    • Thank you very much. My family has a lot of great times when we have our game nights or when we just find some other times to play. I always am amazed by the things that I learn during those times and I know if I am so are the kids. Just last night while I was cleaning up after dinner the kids wanted to play a game and I told them maybe. As they ran into the living room I heard my daughter tell my youngest that they needed to behave so that they would be allowed to play when I was done. I was a proud poppa when I heard that.

  3. The thing to remember is that children are as smart as we are – just that their tastes are different and perhaps at times they lack the ability to articulate effectively what they want to say – something they should learn with the right development.

    In fact, sometimes I worry that they are so smart they can work out how boring I am! But quite recently, I come to understand it’s not about me – but the children. Your article reinforces that.

    Bookmarked for the future.

    • Ken I really appreciate your thoughts here and totally understand them. Kids are very smart and I always treat my kids like they are a person and not just a kid. Guess that explains why people always tell me how mature my kids are.

  4. This is so true James! I just want to quote “Only children believe they are capable of everything” from the book Aleph. Playing with our children is a way to make our inner child reborn and remember our real personalities. And for children this is a way to reinforce and enhance their capabilities for life. Very truthful, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I really appreciate you sharing that insight and I do agree with you. Playing with the kids and letting them teach me what to do is always a blast and I do feel like a kid again.

  5. I also have great memories of playing games with family members when I was a child. So naturally, it made sense to play games with my own children when they were young. I believe kids can learn more from games than we realize. It’s really cool to see the light bulb flash over their little heads.

    • That is a great moment for parents when they get to witness that light bulb moment. There is also a certain sense of pride to watch your kids teach someone else how to play as well.

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