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Gaming for family memories

By: Carey Snide

We have a family routine that started almost 20 years ago when my husband and I got married…games with breakfast. We are so committed to this that we literally played Yahtzee while I was in labor!

We have continued this with our boys, now both teens. We usually play a card game like Hearts, Phase 10 or board games such as Clue and Scrabble. We almost never finish a game in one morning so games could stretch across a few days. I cherish this time as it is a time for us to start our day connected, to laugh, and has been a time that allowed for the boys to ask us questions or share what’s going on in their lives. I had no idea when we started what it would gain for us.

So why games? Well - frankly I am really competitive and this was just plain fun - but over time I have noticed that games taught them to take turns, to win and lose well, to have patience. One of my favorite memories is when my, then, 10-year-old son patiently played Candyland with his 3-year-old cousin; calmly teaching her the colors, how to count the squares, and not getting upset when she didn’t follow the rules but praising her when she had the smallest victory…”Good job, that is purple!” I gained a memory to cherish in my heart.

I recently asked the boys what one family tradition they will continue with their own families…”games with breakfast.” Games have earned a place as a family tradition.

Use Games for gain. Gain positive memories. Gain lessons in patience. Gain in your relationship.

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