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Should I not be so uptight about the rules for boardgames?

I have a 6 and 4 year old that likes to play card and board games. I like them to play by the rules so that they can learn and there's expectations so that they just can't win and beat each other all the time. So, should I just chill a bit, or keep insisting we play by the rules?

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Asked by super_mommy4 at 12:17 AM on Jan. 11, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (8)
  • I think that you should be insistent on the rules while understanding that some rules were meant to be bent or broken. force the rules that will prevent them from cheating and let the little things slide from time to time.

    Answer by bubblycute at 12:27 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • I think it depends on your kids ability to play by the rules and how complex the rules are.
    For example:
    Hi-Ho-Cherrios is an easy game. But my daughter is only 2 and this is one of her first games. So when we spin, we ignore the dog, the bird and the spilled bucket. I have to prevent her from taking her cheeries off when it is my turn. We play this game to learn HOW to play a game, how to take turns, how to follow the rules. As she gets better at it, I'll add in the remaining rules.
    If they have fun, how about writing up your own "family rules"? They'll be happy to have made their own "official" version.
    If they don't have fun, step in and either end the game or reinforce the rules.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:32 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • We started playing board games when they were 2. We always follow the rules (help with the little guys lol). If they don't want to play by the rules, then we have to put the game away. They have to learn at some point that they can't always do just what they want....

    Now....if they're making up their own game using the pieces or something...that's a different story!

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:11 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • I think it depends on which rules they're wanting to break/ignore. Is it one that, by breaking/ignoring it, would enable them to win when they otherwise wouldn't, or makes it more likely they would win? If so, then no, don't let them. Insist they follow it. But if it's just a little thing, like changing the number of cards they hold in a card game (my 5 yr old has trouble holding 7 card for Uno, so sometimes we only do 5), as long as it doesn't fundamentally change the game, go ahead. In life, there are some rules that can never be broken (no killing, for example) and some rules that can be bent/broken (speed limits sometimes get ignored in an emergency, for example). Game rules are a good way to teach them that.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 8:47 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • This is a hard one. When I play with my kids 5 & 8 I want them to follow the rules, which with games like monopoly Jr. they have to pay attention to when someone is on their property to pay them. I think it depends on the game. I don't think following the rules is wrong or that you should back off if it's really important to you.although it just not make the game as fun for you if you always have to 'referee".  My mom altered the rules when we were kids, What got me was when I got older and played the same games with friends and they didn't play the way we did. Wrong.  LOL


    Answer by mothermayiam at 9:05 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • I also think they should play by the rules. In a few years when they go to school rules are so important so teaching them now is setting a good example.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 11:43 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • I think it's important that everyone play by the rules that are agreed on at the beginning of the game. But that doesn't mean you have to follow the rules printed on the box! You can have "family rules" or "house rules" for a game, that modifies so that it's easier/harder/funner/whatever. Just make sure everyone agrees up front, and then stick to the agreement.

    Answer by at 2:50 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • I love the advice.  Sometimes they just want to make up their own rules, but have a tendency to make them up as they go.  I think I will stick to the basic rules and enforce the ones that I know they can follow and give leeway on those they can't.  For example, the Hulk Operation game...there are some pieces my father and I can not get out with those little tweezers.  So I give them 3 tries. 


    Answer by super_mommy4 at 10:16 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

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