I remember growing up with board games; it was a pivotal part of childhood. I played “Operation,” “Monopoly,” and “Hungry Hungry Hippos” days on end with my sister.
I remember arguing over cheating, re-stacking cards secretly while the other one wasn’t looking, or our mom telling us” “Shut that damn game off! Are you girls trying to put me into a psychiatric ward with all that noise!?”
She was right, some of those games are pretty effin’ annoying.
However, now I’m a parent and holy hell, these games are going to either kill me, or land me bunk-mates with my mother in the psych ward. Kidding. Kind of..
Around Barb’s 4th birthday, she slowly starting adding board games to her toy collection through birthdays, Christmas, etc. We started with the first two board games that most children acquire, Chutes and Ladders and Candyland.
Now, here’s the thing that all of us adult parents know, these things were manufactured to be “simple-to-play” games. They take no strategy or plotting; we aren’t teaching our children how to play a round of chess, or reveal nuclear launch codes, we are teaching them that sometimes, your luck can really suck.
In theory, it’s a great lesson. We show our children that sometimes the chips don’t always fall in our favor; it’s a great example of “Life can totally blow sometimes, and just because you got to be the first player in Candyland, that certainly doesn’t translate to “I’M THE WINNER!”
As luck would have it, each time I sit down to play a round of Candyland, or Chutes and Ladders, I always seem to win. Maybe that’s karma re-paying me for all the years that I lost hopelessly playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with my sister. It’s unfortunate that my karma re-payment wasn’t in the form of a large tax return, a rainfall of cash, or winning the lottery…but I digress.
Trust me, I could give a rat’s ass if I win a round of Candyland. I choose whatever colored Gingerbread man Barb doesn’t want and I start the game…and I always win.
This, clearly, leads to:
“YOU ARE CHEATING!”
“That’s not fair!”
“I HATE THIS GAME!!!!”
I know I read somewhere along the parenting path that board games are good for your children, their critical thinking, the lesson of chance, and blah blah blah.
What I’m trying to say is: I really hate effin’ board games.
I’ve actually tried to strategize (similar to Chess) ways that I can let Barb win a few rounds up Candy Mountain. I want to play a game with her! I love spending time with that little nut, but what I’m not looking for is a total meltdown- Every.Single.Time.
I tell myself: “I’m doing a GREAT job! The rounds that she loses are teaching her that she cannot always win, that she won’t always be the best at what she does.”
Good lessons- check.
Teaching my child the ways of the world: DOUBLE CHECK.
However, GOOD LORD, does that ever get annoying.
There were only so many times I could handle my cheating acquisitions, a fit of tears, and the endless re-organization of Candyland cards before I mentally said “FUCK THIS.”
So, I took those damn board games and temporarily placed them high on a shelf in my closet. I, also, conveniently took one important component of each game, rendering it un-playable, prior to my hiding them high in my closet.
So, we are on a “board games hiatus,” if you will.
Maybe we will give it another go a little later on- or, I figure she’ll learn soon enough, either way. There’s enough “That’s completely unfair!” in this world to go around, maybe I’ll just wait for those situations to play-out in real life, and not on my living room floor while we are proverbially flailing down a chute. Well, her, not me. I totally kick ass at board games. muahahaha 😉
You have the same problems with board games in your home, or is this just a Barb & Smash issue? Please tell me I’m not alone. Do me a favor and give me a click on the banner below! Every single click helps better rank my site! One click is all!!! MWAHHHH!