A Game can Change a childs life Financially

A Game can Change a childs life financially

A game can change a life; it can be a window to the future, a portal to a fairytale world or a downward spiraling staircase leading you to destruction. Or atleast that is what people believed when you talked about the dungeons and dragons game.

I remember the first time I played the board game “The Game of Life”; it gave me the sense, the hope of a better future. Growing up in poverty living in the ghetto, apartments upon apartments filled with hopeless people all dependant on the government and the welfare system. The game of life board game taught me that my future could be different, could be better. Then ofcourse I moved on to Monopoly and then on to video games, but in the end – these games were more than just games to me.

Games as a Teaching Tool

Because of these games like “the Game of Life” and “Monopoly”, I knew that there was more to life than what my eyes could see in the projects I lived in. When I played these games I hated losing because it meant that my hope for a better life could be impossible.

Today my children have a better life compared to what I had as a child, but I still believe that they can learn to do more, be more, by playing games.

I try to have a family game night atleast once a week. It’s the best way I know to insure that the family has fun family quality time, but I also use it as an opportunity to teach my children about finances, about thinking outside of the box. If you have read some of my blog post, you’ve read how I have been reading “Rich dad Poor dad” with my twelve year old. How I’ve been encouraging her to start a business with her home made jewelry hobby.

money and kids games
You have read in my blog how I purchased the “Cash Flow Game” for kids. It’s a big hit at my house, we’ve even had some of my daughters friends play the game and my son who is only five years old simply loves it. Recently I purchased the Monopoly city board game, even though it is a hard game to play and not intended for ages under eight, it’s all my son wants to play. Cash Flow or Monopoly city, that is all this five year old wants to play.

Yes, my son plays video games, with his toy soldiers and runs around the house pretending to shoot enemy soldiers. But if you ask him what does he want to play for family night: the answer is always cash flow or Monopoly city.

Changing the mind with Games

If you want a simple way to reach your children, a way that engages their minds and captures their imaginations – play a game.

I know that with all the technology we have today it is very hard to sit with your kids and play a board game, especially when they would rather play the Nintendo Wii or there Xbox 360. And while there are video games out there that can teach them about business and so much more – nothing compares to a board game, the interaction of playing a game face to face with other people.

money kids gamesMy daughter wanted me to buy one of the other monopoly games because it came with a credit card machine so she wouldn’t have to count out the cash and do the math – but I said no. Why, because the point of the game [ from my point of view ] was to involved her brain, cause her to think, to exercise the biggest muscle she needs - brain matter.

I have watched as my five year old who could not stay still for two seconds to read a book, can sit still for two hours to play cash flow for kids. I’ve written in my blog posts how my son has a desire to learn to read because he wants to read the game cards from the game on his own. As we play my twelve year old and my five year old are secretly learning about finances, budgeting, leverage and other business principals, while playing a game.

Making The Game Real

Now I know that just playing a game is not going to change the life of a child. But it’s an opening for a parent, an educator to teach a child more because the game sparks an interest for things a child would customarily find uninteresting.

A few days ago I was talking to my wife about some of our finances and like all children my daughter was listening in, she just jumps into our conversation and says “yeah mom, just like the game …” and started explaining what she believed we should do based on the principals she learned from the game. Mom was not happy she rudely interrupted us, but I was proud that she was thinking, learning from the game.

When I take my children out, when I talk to them or when the opportunity for me to show them that what happens in the game happens in real life – I make it a point to teach.

I remember when we were driving to my son’s flag football practice and we drove by this small community, my daughter asked me “why would someone build homes way out here?” I took the opportunity to explain to her about basic real estate principals, renting, location, and city building planning. How builders see what the future plans are of a city and build accordingly, in order to take advantage of a cities growth today.

I am sure that most of it went way over her head, the name of the game is to teach. Little by little she is learning, as long as we keep them interested and learning - the sky is the limits for our children.

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