Friday night, Dad was going to be home late. We rented a movie, watched it, and put the 3 year old to bed. What to do next? The older two (9 and 11) begged me to play Monopoly with them. I bought them the game for Christmas last year, but I really don’t enjoy playing it so much. It’s so long and drawn out with such a vague ending point.
I decided that I didn’t have a good excuse not to play and it would be a good way to spend quality time with them, so I said yes. I actually ended up getting into the game and found it a very interesting way to learn more about my kids and encourage good character.
1. I learned that my oldest son (11) has a specific plan in mind that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. Flexibility when someone else foils his plan (i.e. buys one of the properties he likes to get and won’t sell it to him), is not one of his strong suits. I already knew some of his lack of flexibility, but it was interesting to see it in a different light.
2. I learned that my daughter (9) doesn’t like buying property. This is actually quite the opposite from her real life tendencies. Normally, she can’t hold on to money at all! She doesn’t seem to understand the idea of spending money to earn money. I’m not sure there’s a broader life lesson there, other than perhaps I need to take more time to explain things to her and not assume she gets it.
3. When my daughter shows that she is not paying attention, her brother makes fun of her. It didn’t seem to bother her, but it’s unacceptable. I corrected him about that, but then realized that I can be a bit too sarcastic with her at times, too. That is most definitely unacceptable and will change. I love my little girl to death. She’s very different than I am, and I’m trying to figure out how to work with that. I was very convicted when I realized my need to talk to her differently.
All from a little game of Monopoly!
What have you learned about your kids from playing board games?