There is a saying, Families that eat together stay together. In many families, although sadly on the decline, eating together one time a day is a ritual that is practised. This is the time when the family members eat together sharing the happening of their lives in the past 24 hours and also planning out the day. It is time when parents get a chance to talk about things apart from academics (Am I being optimistic?), discuss family matters, and family members, and also when parents can share their past life with their children. The families which are doing this are doing a great job of strengthening the relationship.
Play, unfortunately, does not get the same kind of attention from families. Play is a NEED for all of us. Play is doing something for its own sake. Play is a reward in itself. It brings the family members closer together in a positive way.
A family should have its stress-busting ritual. What better than to bring in Board Games into focus. Board Games were and are available in plenty. A Board Game needs more than one player and a family should have a Board Game which can be used for two or more members. It should be something that is of interest to all members at least to some extent.
In earlier days, Board Games did not mean you had to buy a Game. You just took a piece of chalk, drew a big square, drew five columns, five rows, crossed out the home squares and the target square and got the game going with either dice or shells or broken tamarind seeds anything that let you count four to eight moves and the game was on.
Today such games are available in printed versions. There is no end to the Board Games that the families can have. Dice, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Chinese Checkers, Chess, Caroms, Monopoly, the list is endless. Even a set of Playing Card can give an endless amount of pleasure to the children and adults. Amongst all the toys you can buy for your children perhaps Board Games are the cheapest.
But then the question is not about money but about time and also about attitude. Do we think Play is only for children? Do we think of Play as frivolous? Or do we think playing with children is a way to bond with them, and spend quality time with them? Play is to have fun with them without any agenda. It is not the time to teach, not the time to lecture, moralize, etc. Just time to relax and have fun.
Whenever a parent has approached me and asked me how to have a better bond with their children, I have suggested Board Games and I have seen the change that comes about.
These Board Games are not about just today. You are creating wonderful memories with your children. They will recall the joy they had even years later as they grow up playing these wonderful games with you. Every family should have its Board Game. Families that play together discover the pleasure of small things.
What is your family's Board Game and are your memories of the same?