The board game of “Life” is in the closet still used from time to time, but I find that we tend to play the electronic version more often. If you are familiar with the game, it makes you spin a wheel moving your game piece and picking your life possibilities.
Recently while playing the game of Life with my daughter Megan, I realized that my daughter was actually learning from what I just thought of as a game to relax and spend some quality time together.
We began playing one evening and we both picked our people or game pieces as it is and then began making our choices whether we wanted a career or to continue with school. My 10 year old immediately said, ‘NO MORE SCHOOL’ and was given a career of an electrician only making a minimum and maximum salary. Salary caps were a thing of life I explained as we continued the game.
I choose to continue my education and was immediately granted a higher job with no Max cap on my salary. My daughter declared “You are sooo lucky.”
Then we had to pick our houses. She of course picked the best biggest house available using all the money she had in her bank only leaving her a few bucks left in her account. I picked a condo, which left me with money in the bank for things that I knew would come up such as taxes and so forth.
As we continued to play the game, I made money passing payday and had money to easily pay off the pitfalls that came up during the game such as children, taxes, and just crazy bills that were thrown your way in the game that you are never expecting.
Then suddenly Megan changed her strategy. She was asked if she wanted to go back to school. She choose yes and suddenly her career path changed and she had no max income- meaning she could make as much as she wanted.
I asked her about her decision when she had been so adamant earlier in the game about no more school. She laughed and said, “well I was just watching to see what you were going to do and I learned from that. My person needed to go back to school from being an electrician to a doctor and now I can afford a bigger house and pay all my bills.”
I thought for a moment, but then it hit me, something that I am always aware of during my day to day actions, but this was just a game and I was just having fun, not necessarily thinking of it as a learning experience.
Even during a game, our children are watching every move we make and are following our decisions. What a powerful moment. I have to say that yes, in this game for the first time in a long time, I ended up winning but it was a close game in the end and she tends to win our game days. But it showed me that whether in real life or the game of life, our children are always watching us to see what decisions we make and the power of our influence is great.
What are you teaching your children from the “game of life?”