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Traditional Family Games Promote Family Togetherness


Does your heart yearn for family relationships as good as those portrayed in the 1970s television series “The Brady Bunch”? Adults, teenagers and younger children getting along despite the occasional squabble. It seems idyllic, but is it attainable?

Many families spend much of their weekend time going to a variety of sporting events, while television and the internet provide much of their weekly entertainment. With all these activities, there doesn’t seem much time to build family unity.

While our hearts may desire quality time with our children, this often occurs when we simply spend quantity time with them. Vacations and other special activities are good, but a weekly time of family togetherness can accomplish great things. Family games nights can fulfill this aim.

As an example, our family sets Wednesday nights as a family games night. We have a special meal and then play games for an hour or two. While there are many commercial games you can purchase, such as Monopoly(R), you could also play a different game every week for a year using nothing more than a handful of dice and a deck of cards. We like to play some favourite games and also try some new ones.

During one of our games nights we played Pig, a simple dice game that is suitable for all the family, using just one die. (The plural for die is dice.) Each player throws the die and adds their score for each throw until they choose to stop or until they throw a One. If they stop before they throw a One, they keep their score and add it to their score from any previous rounds, with the aim of being the first player to reach fifty points. However, a throw of One cancels their score for that round and ends their turn.

As we played, two of my sons developed very different strategies. One son chose to stop if he got to ten points in any round while another son would try to score 50 points every round. He often scored well over thirty points before crashing back to zero as he threw a One. We had so much fun watching them play that we chose to continue scoring to 100 points. (By the way, neither son won the game in the end!)

Other activities are useful for building family unity but games have the advantage of allowing everyone to play together, no matter what their age. Indeed, it can be very amusing to see a teenager or adult being beaten by a six year old. As well as having fun and building relationships, children learn many life skills (such as reading and/or counting) and social skills (like communications and team work). That sounds like an ideal combination – education, fun and family!

Source by Andrew J Low

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