In a day and age of distracting electronic gadgets and social networking online, playing board games with friends and family is a simple and fun way to reconnect with others. Many people today communicate via email, cell phone, or mobile device, and it can be easy to forget or neglect to learn real life communication and social skills. Here are some ways that playing board games can encourage these skills.
-Problem solving is something that board games can help teach. Learning how to deal with dilemmas is an important life skill, and board games like checkers, chess, and others require players to look ahead to solve problems, and consider the consequences of their choices.
-Learning to win and lose gracefully can go a long way in encouraging healthy socialization. No one wants a sore loser for a friend! Someone who knows how to win without taunting and lose without griping is more likely to form healthy interpersonal relationships.
-Interactive board games require players to communicate effectively, and with some board games (such as those that involve having to discern a hidden term or word), the more effective communicator is the winner. There are very few times in life when good communication skills are not necessary.
-Family time is so important – the skills you need to learn for the world begin in the home. Board games are a wonderful way for family members to learn from each other and develop those interpersonal skills that will follow them into life. Playing board games with your family can bring family members together in ways that may not have been considered before. Gaining insight into what makes your friends and/or family members “tick” can be invaluable in promoting healthy friendships and family harmony.
-Teamwork is a social skill that is applicable in school, the workplace, and in families. Board games encourage effective teamwork, and players with the best team skills are more likely to be winners.
-You will learn more and gain knowledge with some board games, such as those that test your knowledge of specific facts or concepts. This can be a significant asset for children in school.
-Healthy competition is a motivational concept that is helpful for everyone in the family, from school-age kids to grandparents. Competition encourages you to improve yourself and strive to be better.
Board games are not expensive and are readily available. Try declaring family game night, take the whole family shopping for a board game (or more than one to make sure all ages are covered), and enjoy the time together. Or the next time your friends get together, bring a board game or go out and buy one together. You’ll be glad you did!
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