When I was a nipper growing up in the family home, we went through a period of time where we all played happy families as we often used to sit down together and play family games, which included snakes and ladders as small children, Ludo when we got a bit older and Monopoly when new got older still. Alas, as TV improved and we kids hit the troublesome teens, the only games we ended up playing were feuds and fights over who could win the battle over the TV cannels.
Looking back to those early days, they were wonderful times when we all used to come together and play board games for entertainment. In fact, when it was time for the weekly card and board games, I can vividly remember how excited we all use to get while Mum and Dad prepared the entertainment table. I'm not sure if our folks just got busy with their careers, or we kids grew out of family games in place of TV and music for entertainment, but one thing is certain, and that is it was a great shame the day we stopped sitting down as a family and having fun.
Sadly, in this busy, busy world we now live in, mums and dads often seem far too occupied in their careers to be able to spend some quality time with their kids. In fact, it’s not the parents that keep the children entertained in 2008, but the computers they buy them. Who would have thought that so many of today’s children would have a more intimate relationship with their computers, than they do their natural parents!
It’s a sad fact in this busy , busy world that kids are missing out on that quality time that we older generations had with our parents. The less time mum and dad have for their kids, the weaker the bond is. Bonding is essential to growing children as it helps to install confidence in life skills and teaches them to graceful in both victory and defeat. Kids need the nurture of parents! So many of the kids activities today are solitary, and most have entire home entertainment systems in their bedrooms to keep them occupied.
Families are fragmented throughout the house and although there are the new age family video games, we don't really see too many parents sitting on the carpet with their brood having fun with the joystick.
My friend's father taught him and his brother to play chess from a very young age. Chess games and chequers are still part of their Sunday afternoon routine. They also liked to play card games for matches or pennies such as pontoon or gin rummy. Even as young adults, they enjoy to play board games to this day, mainly Monopoly and Cluedo. Sometimes, their family games of monopoly could go on for days and I always feel a little envious as their family really feels like a unit where everyone makes time for one another.
In the past, outdoor activities were also popular with my family. We liked to go to the local park and play a game of cricket, rounders or kick a soccer ball around. There were tennis courts too, which we made use of, although not one of us were any good at it, but it was still great fun nonetheless. The weather in the UK isn't always kind though, so indoor family games were very important and precious during those early years.
When my own children were little, my husband and I carried on the family games tradition. They liked board games too, and we played the old favorites. My adult son still plays The Simpson's version of monopoly with his girlfriend. We also liked to play Risk, the war strategy game. Pictionary is still one of the games we enjoy. We have only recently got Twister in our house. It's certainly good for keeping you agile and it's great fun too. But you wouldn't get my aging parents to participate in any game of any description these days which is really quite sad when you think how much they valued family prime time during our early childhood.
Many games now have computer versions, such as Risk. I'd rather smell the board and hold the figures in my hand. Everything has to be on a screen now. I think we assume that kids won't want to play family games the old fashioned way. You can even play chess and cards on the computer nowadays, not to mention snooker and darts.
If only more families today spent quality time together, perhaps they'd stay together! I have many happy memories of sitting round the dining room table with loved ones, playing family games. It's great for stress levels, as long as you don't mind losing! I guess I'm showing signs of old age now that I begin most of my sentences with "I remember when".