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Saturday, July 04, 2020

Parenting in lockdown: ‘We are enjoying board games with the kids’

Each day, a different person gets to choose what game we play. I'm amazed at how much it is teaching us as adults.

Published: June 26, 2020 4:29:32 pm
Ruchita Dar Shah, parenting Ruchita Dar Shah with her children

By Ruchita Dar Shah

I’m rushing to finish my work this morning. When you run an online community for mothers, your days are now busier than ever before, since our offline life is restricted in so many ways…it’s online all the way. My usually distracted 11-year-old is also in a rush. He knows he needs to finish his school assignments before lunch. That’s because post-lunch is our hour of games on most days.

Confession time: I used to enjoy board games as a child but over the years, life took over. Usually, I wind down by curling up with a good book or watch a good series. But, this unprecedented time at home, brought board games back in my life – and how!

My younger one misses his friends and he’s someone who craves interaction. The series he watches don’t appeal to the rest of the family or like my teenager says, “they are too kiddish.” So, it got me wondering about ways to spend family time together. How do I keep everyone occupied together?

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Ruchita Dar Shah, parenting Ruchita and her sons are bonding over board games while being at home.

That’s when the board games came out!

Initially, I agreed to one game with him. That day, we ended up playing for three hours! I was a convert. Slowly, we convinced the family to join our gang. So now, most afternoons, after lunch or evenings post dinner we spend a bit of time playing games.

It’s not always the same game, although I’ve noticed that my banker husband is partial to Monopoly – he is a fierce competitor (making sure nobody cheats!). I suspect he’s trying to make bankers out of the kids.

Even my usually grumpy teenager can be persuaded to emerge out of his bear cave for a few hours if we’re setting up a board game. His pick is generally the game of unspeakable fun – Taboo.

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And the family knows better than to let us team up; – we would wipe the mat with them otherwise. Last summer, we had introduced the children to Cluedo, and my younger one seems to have quite a knack for guessing the murderer before any of us can even get our weapons in order. And, the game my two boys will always agree to play together – Jenga! We even tried our hand at adding a twist to the game with chopsticks. Trust me, this was lots of fun.

You can imagine the chaos since each of us has a different favourite, but we’ve worked around that too. Each day, a different person gets to choose what game we play. I’m amazed at how much it is teaching us as adults. I’m learning to embrace experiences (and games) I’m unfamiliar with, and the kids are learning teamwork, communication skills, and so much more. We’re also learning to work on our patience, something that’s sorely needed in these challenging times. I hope and I know that someday, we will come out of these tough times more resilient than ever. Till then, let’s enjoy the fun times we have at home with our family and partners.

(The writer is a parenting expert.)

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