Lessons I Learned From Crushing My 6 Year Old in Monopoly
I love the game of Monopoly. The first time I played with my 6 year old daughter I made her cry. I didn’t mean to, but I took all her money. I felt bad for a moment and then I started counting my money again. For some reason, my wife wasn’t very happy with me. I quickly realized we weren’t on the same page.
I guess she expected more from a Christian father. Maybe I should have tithed first. It probably didn’t help that I was wearing a cheap green visor that professional poker players wear. (Just kidding. I couldn’t find one.) I tried to explain to her it wasn’t personal, just business. For some reason she still wasn’t buying it. The reason my wife and I discussed or argued about me winning the game was because of our difference in parenting philosophy. I wasn’t intentionally trying to be selfish. I just saw it as a game to win and as an opportunity to crush someone in Monopoly. However, my wife was thinking further down the road than I was at the time. She saw it as a good teaching moment for our daughter.
I was playing for myself to win, while my wife was playing for our daughter win. To be honest, she taught me a few lessons during this game.
1. As a parent, I need to set up my children to win in life.
It doesn’t mean giving them everything or making sure they have it easy, but it does mean teaching them the principles to succeed in life and to be independent. Monopoly is a good game to teach your children about business and personal finances. When you run out of money you can’t charge property or rent with your Mastercard.
2. As a parent, I need to be willing to sacrifice for my children to win in life.
It might mean sacrificing some of my personal time so I can help my children with something. It might mean driving a less expensive car or not buying the latest iPhone that came out last month so my children can be involved in a life building activity or sport. It might mean taking your child on a mission trip or involve them in a mission project.
3. As a parent, if my children win now, I win later.
If I take the time to teach my children and invest in their lives now, they will grow up to be responsible and respectable adults. This means eventually they won’t need to keep borrowing money from me and they will get off my payroll. It also means I can go and get the car I had been eying or the latest version of the iPhone I had wanted. Delayed gratification is a lesson we can’t afford for our children to fail.
The lessons learned in Monopoly are cheap and won’t cost you now, but you could receive dividends later for investing in your children.
What are some ways that we can help our children to win in life?
I'm a pastor, writer and serial encourager. I like to help people to grow in their relationship with God. I live outside of Atlanta, GA. I've written a book, Stubborn Faith: 30 Day Devotional Guide For New Growth. It's available for download on Amazon. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @ericspeir