One of my son’s favorite games right now is LIFE Twists & Turns. This is good news for me, because it happens to be one of my favorite games (I love the original, but I have to say the new electronic one is easier to play with young kids) and he happens to be old enough to play a game without being a pain in the butt.
Why is playing board games with children so awful most of the time? Am I a horrible mom or does everyone agree that Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, etc. are where fun goes to die?
We played a good long game this time as we had some extra time. 25 years / turns which took a little under 2 hours. BB was at summer camp, luckily, because a game that long would not have held her interest and also she still pretty much isn’t fun to play board games with at all. Truth.
As the game went on, I thought about the LIFE Lessons he was picking up along the way and I tried to explain to him the difference between what strategies worked well in the game vs. what you should actually do in real life (like a total mom). I don’t know how much of that sunk in but I had to laugh at the “lessons” that I noticed throughout the game and I had to share them with you!
LESSON ONE: Definitely try to be a famous athlete so you don’t have to go to school.
Look at these two cards. If you choose to be an athlete, you don’t have to go to school at all and to make $120,000 per year (or more) you have a 1 in 2 shot at success. Even if you never make it past being a bench warmer, you can make $40,000 a year just keeping a bench warm! If you decide to be a writer (for example because it’s the card I chose) you’ll have to go to college before you can earn even just $45,000 a year and the best you can hope for in the end is to get lucky enough to earn $1,000,000 – half of the earnings that the guy who went into sports is able to get. Write the great american novel? That’s cool, but can you score a field goal?
LESSON TWO: Definitely gamble. It’s the best. Someone is going to win, probably you.
Like anyone who has won a few bucks off a scratch ticket, after MM won his first LIFE Lottery, he was HOOKED and immediately wanted to do another one. Lotteries are the best guys. He went on to win another lottery and a business venture and even the lottery he didn’t win, he didn’t lose anything either so who cares? It’s FREE MONEY and someone is going to win, probably you. All you have to do is choose three arbitrary numbers and SPIN!!!!!
LESSON THREE: People buy islands, like, all the time.
The sheer number of life points earned from buying that island pretty much cancelled out the cost spent and somehow he wasn’t even broke afterwards.
LESSON FOUR: Never buy your mother flowers. It’s a trap.
$1,000 for flowers? HIVES? Buying flowers is the worst. Your time would have been way better spent endorsing a shoe company.
LESSON FIVE: There is nothing better than being a good friend (this one is a good lesson).
Earlier in the game, he drew a LIFE card that said he could hold onto the card and later he could choose a friend to join him at whatever space he happened to be on. Now he could have used this card maliciously to send a player (me) back at a crucial moment or cost them lots of money, but my boy is the kindest person I’ve ever met. He landed on a Double Promotion and very eagerly invited me to join him, even though it would mean I’d be earning a lot more money than him. He’s either the sweetest kid ever or terrible at this game.
LESSON SIX: The Final Lesson: Mom Always Wins.
Despite an amazing string of bad luck and possibly because of his earlier generous offer to share his double promotion with me, I totally dominated with 94,000+ points to his 44,000+. It’s better that he learns early on that a winning mom is a happy mom and that I’ll always be smarter than him. That’s the appropriate lesson here, right?