Today, my 9 year old daughter and I had some rare one on one time while my little one napped and my husband attended a football game. She wanted to play a board game, and I was happy to oblige. Nothing says good old-fashioned fun like a board game. Plus, it’s sometimes hard for both of us to put away electronics for any length of time, so I was proud of her for suggesting it.
She chose “Life” – one of my favorite games from childhood. I remember playing it nearly everyday in the summer between 6th and 7th grade with my two good friends from elementary school. Seventh grade would be the beginning of middle school, or junior high, for us. We remained friends but went our separate ways in seventh grade, so looking back, this is such a nice memory to recall.
We set up the game on our dining room table and chose our cars. White for her, red for me. We put our little pink pegs in the driver’s seat and we were off.
My husband and I introduced her to this game when she was 7, thinking it would be fun for her. What we didn’t realize was how many questions and opportunities for dialogue it would spark. Should she choose college or jump right into a career? And how would each decision impact her financial situation? Does she need home or auto insurance? (she chose no for home insurance, and luckily evaded the board tiles reading “Flood! Pay $20,000 in damages unless you have home insurance.”)
The questions she asked were good and thoughtful. We discussed responsibility, consequences, second chances and my favorite – how costly having children can be. She was blown away by how much she had to pay for her twin girls 🙂
She ended up winning the game, with far more money and Life tiles than I had accumulated.
I can only hope that we give her the tools she’ll need to succeed at the real game of Life, too.