Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Family Game

We were having some pretty serious issues with sibling rivalry in our home, and a general lack of love and respect between our kids, so I decided to try something new.

For Family Home Evening one night, I made up a game. I taped together two pieces of card stock paper to make a large rectangle. On the rectangle I drew a game board, much like Candy Land, with a path starting in the upper left corner winding its way down to the lower right. At the upper right corner I drew a picture of our house for the start, then at the lower right-hand corner I drew a picture of our favorite frozen yogurt shop as the finish. I divided the path up with lines, making a series of spaces leading from the start to the finish.

Next, I made a single game piece. It was a small rectangle of card stock with a simple stick figure drawing of our family on it.

I then created cards with things like, "You don't clean your room when Mom asks you to. Move back one space." Or, "You helped your little sister put on her shoes. Move forward one space." I made several of these cards.

So then for Family Home Evening I talked briefly with the kids about why it is important for us to work together as a family so our home can be a happy place. I told them that when any one of us does something that is mean or uncooperative, it hurts our whole family. To demonstrate, I had each family member take a turn choosing a card and moving the game piece. The kids were slightly chagrined to recognize several of their common misbehaviors among the statements on the cards.
After we had been through the stack of cards, I pointed out that when we do more bad than good, we don't get very far and our home is not a very happy place to be. I then told them that we would play the game for real in our house. I posted the game board on the wall, and I put some tape on the back of the game piece.

Now, whenever someone does something positive, they are allowed to move the game piece ahead. When something negative happens, they move it back. I have noticed that even when one child is wronged by another, they will find a way to make amends so that we will not have to move the game piece back. They are also going out of their way to do kind things for one another so that they get to move us ahead. Once our game piece reaches the finish, we will celebrate with a trip to our favorite frozen yogurt shop. :-)

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