Holding a regular game night is a terrific tradition for any family, but there are a few secrets to making it work. Avoid bickering, meltdowns and hurt feelings with these simple family game night secrets.
Family game night should include the entire family, but don't force the issue. If someone absolutely refuses to participate, accept it and move on. Dragging a child kicking and screaming to the game table won't make for a good time.
But don't let anyone off the hook too easily. If your moody tween doesn't want to play games tonight, don't make him -- but do insist that he at least spend the evening in the same room as the rest of the family… without the TV, iPod, cell phone or other electronics.
Make game night a no-visitors evening. While it may be fun to invite a friend to join the family every now and then, try to keep your regular gatherings centered around your family. Your kids can visit with their friends on another day.
Keep family game night fresh and exciting by playing a different board game every week, suggests Polly Schlafhauser, founder of Families with Purpose.
Your family will quickly lose interest if the first hour of family game night is spent setting up the game and deciphering the rule book.
Assign one person the task of getting the game fully set up and organized, and make sure at least one person knows the rules well enough to relate to everyone involved.
"Prior to playing the family game, talk about good game behavior and what is expected of every participant," says Schlafhauser. "Be sure to address any issues specific to your family."
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