Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Monopoly vs. Minecraft

As I’ve shared in previous posts, both of my children have struggled with math. Now that they’ve thankfully turned a corner, I felt we could add Monopoly to the repertoire of board games we play. Though they love most of the classics where basic counting skills will suffice, they’ve shied away from this one because of the numbers sense it requires. But now that they’re self-efficacy and confidence are up, it seemed like an opportune time to teach them to play. Not only that, but because I was on bed rest for a long medical leave, my husband gave in to their request for Minecraft since I couldn’t do as much with them. Teaching them to play Monopoly was also an attempt to lure them away from Xbox.

I wish I could say the first night was a success, but it ended in Levi having a melt down. We started off well, but then rolling low numbers, getting sent to jail, and having to pay rent to Liv, among other things, put him on edge. Then Liv gloated over acquiring a property he wanted to purchase and that pushed him right over. After vain attempts to talk to him about not just playing the game to win but to enjoy the process and interaction, he got sent to his room. He was barely up the stairs before Liv asked, “Can I have all of his money?” It wasn’t either of their best moments.

Nevertheless, last weekend I thought we’d give it another shot. I had laryngitis and paused at the thought of getting into a lengthy game but figured they wouldn’t last too long given our last attempt. Besides, though I knew they could go non-stop on Minecraft if left to their own devices, I doubted a board game could engage them for nearly as long.

Was I in for a pleasant surprise! Levi had been devastated by our aborted game and made up for lost time when given a second chance. I was amazed at he and his sister’s grasp of the game. They really got it! But more than that, they stuck with it. With my headache and sore throat I was ready to call it quits by 10:00. But that wasn’t to be. My Monopoly Moguls kept me at it until midnight! With no drama and gracious winning and losing all around. At one point Liv said, “Best night ever!” and Levi elaborated with, “The best part is The Three Musketeers just spending time together.”

For a while I was a single mom of these special children and we spent many precious times together. That’s when we bonded as a trio. A strand of three that’s unbreakable. None of those times included electronics. But we’re a part of a blended family now and technology is another way we interact. In fact, the students have become the masters and are trying to teach me how to play Xbox. But the night of our Monopoly Marathon was like old times. The Three Musketeers, Monopoly and no Minecraft.

And so another knot was added to the chord.

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