Monopoly Wars

Each holiday we try to get our children unglued from the T.V, Wii, iPad or Nintendo DS. Gosh! So much competition vying for their time.

This time we’ve got them hooked on Monopoly. We’ve had the game for a long time and they’ve played it to varying degrees of enjoyment. However, I guess they are older now and they are gaining an understanding of the value of money.

I observed one of their games and it was a revelation. I saw aspects of their personalities that I was not aware of.

My son, the ever competitive soul who doesn’t put his soul into anything not worth winning, is a ruthless business man. He will get all the title deeds on one or more sides of the board and proceed to deck them out with homes and hotels such that once you pass Go you are filled with dread. Even when you are down and can’t pay income tax, he’ll come knocking on your door for his rent.

My daughter on the other hand, is the trusting individual who spends without thinking and hopes it all works out. She starts the game spending and buying land until she has no more money. She hasn’t quite learnt how to save a little bit for accidentals. She just keeps spending because for her, she wants to acquire those homes and is on a fast track to do so . However, she has progressed a long way from when she refused to spend and wanted to see money pile up and not invest.  Having been on the brink of bankruptcy three times and sent to jail eight times, I tried to get her to quit but daughter refused to be beaten. She remortgaged a couple of her title deeds and miraculously bounces back, repays her debt and ends up owning homes.

There were some very tense moments as both scrambled for success. With each throw of the dice, their decisions become more strategic and focused. It would appear that I don’t have to much more to teach them. Thank God for Monopoly. They have learnt to save, pay off debt, invest and grow their money.

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Limit Screen Time

Like a lot of families we have the following items in our household:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • TV
  • Laptop
  • Computer
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo Wii

I’m not against them but really too much of them is detrimental. They are time wasters and brain mushers! Of course I refer only to when my children use them not us adults.

We also have all the following items in our household too:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Scrap paper and craft items
  • Monopoly
  • Scrabble
  • Science experiment sets
  • Electronic sets
  • Books!!!!!!

Guess which one my children always go for first? The screens! It’s quite shocking because these were children who only nine months ago were devouring book after book. Now these screens are competing for their time so of course we have developed a few new rules in our home, We just make them up as we go along šŸ˜‰

  1. No devices first thing in the morning.
  2. After a couple of hours turn them off.
  3. Some days are no screen days.
  4. You must read a book.
  5. Go to bed if you are not happy with rules 1-4

What I find amazing when we enforce these rules is there are always frowns, sulks and moans. However when they see that that rule 5 above is an optionĀ then the creative juices kick in. Suddenly they are writing stories about make believe lands, drawing skateboards and making craft items, they are reading, dancing, running about and telling each other stories. And whilst they are doing these, there are no tears – only pure joy. So if they are so happy doing this, why are these screens more attracted?