Yes, it’s not the greatest way to start off an article selling the importance of tabletop games hammered out between dads, mums, and their kids.
Like it or leave it — win, or lose — I have no real love for the genre.
The very last thing as a dad I’ve wanted to do, is play Monopoly, spin the wheel in Game of Life, or face the labyrinth of some vague instruction manual, trying to interpret its grindy, overthought in-game rules and procedure.
Then rinse and repeat this, over and over, and over, and over again.
This disdain for board games has been my dad-life kryptonite.
Despite this, my kids and wife are huge fans, so avoiding being conscripted into the fan club was unavoidable.
On balance, the tabletop gaming genre is one of the best indoor dad-job activities I’ve had the privilege of exploring with my kids.
The genre is timeless.
Investing now means ensuring quality family time long after the home is declared an “empty nest.”
First, communal care is fostered by loving participation in board games. This can create priceless memories.
Second, Semper Fi! Denying the reticence to sit and participate in — what is the silent equivalent of nails being dragged across a chalkboard — is a good recipe for reminding kids about the importance of self-denial, resilience, perseverance, overcoming, and adapting.
Third, the experience teaches kids by example that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do, simply because they need to be done. Like doing their chores.
There is also the opportunity for dads to nurture kids in how to lose well, and win graciously.
If the context is age-appropriate, don’t let them win easily. Outdo your kids at their own game.
“Strategy games are useful in helping the frontal lobes of the brain develop… Those frontal lobes are responsible for executive function skills, which include planning, organizing, and making good decisions.”
An additional bonus: tabletop games “are a simple way to get quality, screen-free time with the kids.”
“Learning to wait your turn and follow the rules are important lessons that serve kids far beyond the living room floor,” Zander added.
Instead of running from the time-honoured privilege that is family games night, find board games that don’t bore the pants off even the most ardent gamer.
I find the best type of board game is the one that keeps players moving.
Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.
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