Summer at Its Best: Family Games

monopoly

One of the fun things happening at the Butner home this summer is a resurgence of our family game time.  I have previously shared some of my favorite gaming memories from past and present seasons, so I’ll not repeat that in this post.  Instead, I want to continue in this summer blog series by encouraging you to see the wonderful potential for family growth through making time to play games together.  There are a number of wonderful benefits I see in playing games together.  There is even an old saying that “the family that plays (and prays) together, stays together.”  Here are just a few of the reasons I believe your family would be richly blessed by taking time together for some Monopoly, Yahtzee, Settlers of Catan, Chess, Mancala, or whatever game floats your boat:

  1. Good Clean Fun.  First and foremost, games are designed to be fun.  We all need times of fun and refreshment to recharge our batteries and help wipe away the stresses that build up on our shoulders and in our minds throughout the course of our weeks.  Playing games together with your family is such a great way to boost your mental, emotional, and even spiritual batteries.
  2. Relationship Building.  Games are such a great opportunity for both getting to know people better and building positive memories with them.  Even though we already know the members of our families, the truth is we are changing and growing all the time.  We do well to remember we should be continually working on knowing today’s version of each member of our families, especially our kids, who are changing at an exponential pace.
  3. Problem Solving.  Whether a game uses cards, dice, a board and figurines, other materials, or simply our own words, observations, or gestures, they always challenge the players with problems to solve.  Challenging our kids to solve their own problems, while having the opportunity to watch us do the same, is one of the really wonderful dynamics of playing family games.
  4. Learning to Win and Lose with Grace.  Let’s face it.  The old saying is true.  You win some.  You lose some.  And this is not only true of games.  It is true of all of life’s endeavors.  The sooner our kids learn this important reality of life, and how to handle it with grace, dignity, and respect, the better we will have served them.  And playing family games together creates the ideal setting to train them to face winning and losing well.

Given these learning and growing opportunities afforded by playing games together as a family, it is so important for us parents to keep this in mind: Carpe Diem – Seize the Day.  If we get so caught up in the playing and competing and winning of games with our families that we fail to provide training, leadership, and insight, then we have squandered some golden opportunities.  Seize the day!  Pay attention to the moments that are ripe for training your children and teens in learning and growing as you pass Go and collect $200.

Enjoy the journey!

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