I don’t remember playing many games as a child. When I had my own kids and started playing games with them, I realized why.
I’m fairly certain I stomped away from a family game a time or two (probably Monopoly!) and my parents and sisters decided I wasn’t fun to play with. But I’m also sure that I didn’t want to play with them (or anyone) unless I could win. Not my proudest childhood moments but I’ll own them all the same.
To go a step further, my husband and I raised competitive children.
My husband is not nearly as competitive as I am but we were not the type of parents who would bend rules or let the kids win. It wasn’t a conscious parenting decision but I guess we figured that following rules of a game would help prepare them for following the rules of life. Not everyone gets a trophy in our family.
Yes, I probably told my 4-year-old, “No, you can’t skip spaces on the Candy Land board.” And I’m sure I creamed my 6-year-old a time or two hand outstretch for a high five and exclaiming, “I won!” Again, not my proudest parenting moments but I’ll own them too.
Believe it or not, our children turned out wonderful and weren’t permanently damaged by our rule-obeying ways. Oh sure, we had our childish and pitiful meltdowns (the kids, not me) but we made up for them by celebrating BIG when they won fair and square.
Now that our family has grown by age and in number, we have a host of strong, adult-sized personalities and competitive natures to contend with. In order to keep the peace, when we play games as a family, there are some games we avoid like the plague.
To be clear, we really enjoy strategy-oriented games but they really only work when played in smaller numbers. As a family, games that involve intense strategy or have unclear rules are simply off limits. We’ve learned this from experience.
There’s not much that can threaten to ruin fun family time quite like competition.
For the family who enjoys playing games together and having fun while not drawing blood, check these games out. Our family has played them and we lived to tell about it.
- Heads Up
- Fibbage XL
- Phase 10
- Monopoly Deal
- Mr. Lister
- Ticket to Ride
I know they’re not games but I have to add puzzles to the list. Puzzles are great to have going when people come for a visit. Sitting around working mindlessly on a puzzle while having a meaningful conversation or just simply sharing space with someone is a priceless treasure.
With these games, you can (hopefully) enter safely into the game zone and come out casualty-free.
Now, go have fun with your family!
Andrea Stunz is a committed wife, an incredibly blessed mom, a grateful mother-in-law and a ridiculously proud Gimi. She is a seasoned traveler from south Texas. Having visited countries all over the globe and lived in Brazil, Singapore and the UK, she finds hope and comfort in a beautiful sunrise and a good cup of coffee. Andrea is a self-proclaimed stumbling pilgrim who is ever so grateful for grace. She longs to encourage others in their stories by sharing a part of hers because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more of her work over at andreastunz.com.
See more of her contributions for allmomdoes here.