Last updated: Fri. Aug. 03, 2012 - 01:42 pm EDT
Welcome! Come on in, grab a table, and make yourself at home. The new furniture isn't due in for a while, but what's here has that comfy lived-in feeling. I'm pretty sure we'll be just fine.
Yes, of course your kids are welcome! After all, they're the whole reason we're here.
Those shelves you see around the room hold many of the world's best board games. You probably recognize some of them like Clue, Parcheesi, Scrabble and, of course, the dreaded copy of MONOPOLY. (But don't worry about that one because it's only here to make a point.)
I'll bet that most of the games on those shelves are new to you -- games that you never saw before. Those games are the ones you'll hear the most about in this blog, because when parents and kids play the right board games together, wonderful things happen for family communication and relationships.
Playing board games with your kids is like squashing pieces of relationship Velcro together. The more you do it, the stronger the bond becomes.
Of course, doing pretty much any activity with your children makes a great step toward building better connections, because focused family time is the water that makes relationships grow. Even so, there's still something particularly special about the kind of interaction a board game creates between parents and children. Board games make those moments of focused play even more powerful.
It took many years of parenting three kids with my wonderful wife to really start understanding the immense impact that board games have on family communication.
As a brand new dad, my parenting goals seemed simple: do a good job as a dad, raise great kids, and build a closer, healthier relationship with them than I had with my dad.
It turned out those to-do items were a lot harder than they sounded. Since I had no real clue what I was doing, I screwed up a lot. As my older kids entered their tween and teen years, things got really dicey for a while. I can't count the number of times that "let's sit down and talk" ended with everybody angry and someone in tears (usually me).
Around that time, I made a fascinating discovery: my kids and I almost never fought when we played board games together. In fact, we seemed to laugh and joke with each other over the games. For my kids and me, board games created a safe communication space. We could talk, interact, laugh, and enjoy each other. Best of all, the results lasted well beyond the end of the game. The connections we made through the game lived beyond our family time in the form of inside jokes, friendly jests and shared memories.
Something amazing was happening around the family game table, and it all started with a struggling dad, a couple of frustrated kids, and some board games.
Through this blog, you and I get to explore the mysterious connection between parents, kids, communication, and board games. I see cool things happen all the time, so I know there's a lot out there for us to talk about.
I invite you to join me in our quest to be better dads, moms, and parents. Let's go together and see what we can see along the way.
Are you in?