When they were little, the kids loved family game night. Then the children grew into teenagers. Suddenly, they are caught up in front of their electronic devices, playing Minecraft with online friends and believing that they are way too cool to still enjoy a family game night. Are they right? No!
Taking Game Night to the Cerebral Realm
Your kids are no longer the let’s-dress-up-and-make-noise kinds out youngsters. If your teens are more introverted than extroverted, charades and other games that require them to stand up before a group of people is sure to make them feel uncomfortable. Extricate them from their self-imposed Minecraft solitary confinement by offering to play Scrabble, chess or Parcheesi.
Children who tend to be more intellectual favor these games that do not necessarily invite a lot of hooting and hollering (unless you want to get loud). It is tempting to build family night around the more extroverted children, but as noted by Dr. Marla Gottschalk writing for Vanderbilt University, this tends to marginalize the introverts. By focusing your attention on the needs of those not given to naturally seeking out group situations, you are more likely to draw in your teen.
Letting the Extroverts Shine
If you are blessed with teens who enjoy group settings and do well with siblings who might be younger, why not opt for games of Twister, Scattergories or Pictionary? Jenga is another ideal game for this setting. Fast-paced and perfect for those who love to be boisterous, loud and showing off just a bit, these games also suit teens with competitive spirits who like the idea of dueling in teams.
Taking Family Night Outside
When was the last time you tried a game of lawn bowling, bocce or badminton? Weather permitting, you might combine these family night games with a cookout and some tasty refreshments in the backyard or park. Taking the family out of the house for a family night has the added benefit of physically removing recalcitrant teens from their computers and parents from the TV and other electronic distractions.
Choosing one of these 10 games for your next family night is a great start for a new routine. This is particularly true if you have gotten out of the habit of hanging out as a family – unplugged – for one night a week. Do not worry if the teens look a bit bored at the onset. Getting into the swing of things takes a little while for teens too.