Monday, October 23, 2017

Building A Connection With Family Game Night

I was sitting on the couch watching television and I could hear the girls talking amongst themselves in the other room. As I turned down the volume on the TV, I tried to pay closer attention to their active conversation. The more I listened, the more I realized how much these two have grown up. No, they weren't citing any great works of literature or even philosophizing some deep thought, but it was more about how their language has improved. To hear them create stories and dialog with their toys really made an impression on me.

While they aren't ready to leave the nest just yet, I was reminded of how fast the years go by. Watching my 18 year old son cross the stage and earn his diploma reaffirmed the thought that they won't stay little forever. There will eventually come a time where the girls will grow up and find life more interesting outside of the home. So, we'd better enjoy this time while we can.

It's true, life happens. We go to work, we have chores to do, and there is the hustle and bustle of getting things done, but despite it all, we must make time to connect. We need to slow down and just appreciate the little ones for both who and where they are in their lives.

While it is easy for me to be in parent mode most of the time, it's OK to let loose, drop the structured role, and just enjoy the moment. One way that I transition from disciplined parent to a playful friend is with with Game Night. Be it while playing a board game, cards, pick up sticks, building blocks, video games, or the massive number of collectable toy dolls, I find an immediate and blissful connection with them. For that moment, and the many moments that follow, we understand one another. They know that my smile is genuine, my laughter is hearty, and my attention is squarely focused on them. It is just an intimate and highly engaging time for us all. I love it!

As we parents consider our balancing act between raising well organized, high functioning, and happy children, adding a fun-filled night of games couldn't hurt. Well, unless you find yourself getting a royal smackdown in a game of memory. When it happens, and it will, just laugh it off and vow to bring the heat next go'round.

It's not about the money we spend, but the memories we create that last a lifetime.

Discussion Questions

What about you? What are some of your favorite games and activities that help bring family bonding? What has been your experience in transitioning from parent to friend and back again? Let's talk about it in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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