While Board Games are a lot of fun to play, they can also be used as a great parenting tool too! There are all kinds of different games that can teach such a wide variety of different things, from basic skills to more advanced life mechanisms. There are many, many benefits to be had from playing these with your kids.
Kids Crave Parental Attention
First off, I know that many parents believe their kids would rather play their electronic games versus sitting down to play a board game with their parents. While this could be true in some cases, the fact of the matter is that kids crave their parents attention, and sitting down to play games at the table with them can bring them that satisfaction.
For a long time in life I have watched from the sidelines the interactions between parents and their kids. So often I see kids acting up or getting into trouble as that is the only way for them to get their parent’s attention. As you can see, that is obviously creating a vicious cycle that will lead down a rough path for all parties involved.
Sitting down with you kids for a family game night is a great way to start giving them the attention that they seek. While it may be hard at first to keep the younger kid’s attention or to even get an older kid to play along, it will work out over time. The biggest challenge is to just find the time and to do it.
Board Games Provide Quality Interactions
Human beings by nature prefer to be social with each other overall. Sure there are times when we need our space, but for the vast majority of the time we crave to interact with others in our daily living. Sitting down as a family and playing together is a great way to help satisfy this need.
In today’s market of games, you can find many different types for a wide variety of interactions. For example, my family and I have really enjoyed several different cooperative games like Castle Panic. Here instead of competing against each other you have to work as a team to beat the game itself.
The whole point though is to just get your family and or your friends together to play the game. The game itself can be the focal point or it can just be the device that gets you all around the table. From there you can choose to focus more on the game or just spending time with your loved ones.
The Many Benefits Available
There are many different benefits available from playing various types of board games. You can see a more detailed explanation of these benefits here, but here I will give you a quick overview.
- Time Bonding
- Communication Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Social Skills
- Keeping Kids Out of Trouble
I am sure I could spend a few more hours listing out various different benefits of games, but I think you get the point here. It is just a matter of finding the games that will help your particular needs and that is one of the reasons why I run this site. If you ever need any help figuring it out, just let me know!
Using Games For Teaching Points
Another great option is to use these games to help teach your kids. This could be as simple as playing a math game to help them build on those skills, or as subtle as playing a cooperative game to help them learn the value of teamwork. You could also play Monopoly with them to help teach money management skills.
The key as a parent is to keep your senses open to what is going on with your kids as you play and then use the game time to help them overcome the challenges that they are facing. In a recent example for myself, I used a newer game that we have been playing to help teach my kids more about being patient and paying attention even when it is not your turn.
It is so much easier to work with your kids to learn things in the framework of a game versus other times as it is an indirect method. Just like most people, kids can often be stubborn when we try to teach them directly, so by circumventing that with an indirect method you have better chances at success.
In the end, including board games as a regular part of your family life will help to build better family bonds and offer a plethora of teaching points for you as a parent. Just pay attention to your kids as you go and you will be able to instill the values that you hold most dear in a way that they will enjoy.
If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to use the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you. Also, if you have any stories that you could share on how your family has used board games to learn I would love to hear them as well.
James W D