Games of Life, Both Real and Play

October 27, 2018

Photo by George Bailey 


EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is George Bailey's weekly report "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch" about his and his wife's efforts to teach their kids financial freedom.


The game of life is fully afoot in the Bailey household, both in terms of play and in real life.


First, in terms of play. I mentioned in last week's post that since two of my guests in a row had discussed the value of playing The Game of Life, that was sufficient license for me to con Christina into using her own Amazon gift card money to buy the game. By this last Monday, the package had arrived. As predicted, all the children gathered round as I opened the sacred parcel. They loved the surprise, and we spent the evening playing.


To my memory, it was only the third time I'd ever played the game. For some reason, I had this weird impression as a child that it was only a game for rich kids, a group I most certainly didn't belong to. There was something really fancy about those cars with pegs sticking out of them that moved around the board so elegantly. The money also had a classier feel than Monopoly money, not to mention the fact that it came in much larger denominations. I mean, The Game of Life has $100,000 bills! Seriously? That's legit.


But probably the most amazing part of The Game of Life was the wheel. None of this dice garbage. In my mind, that wheel put The Game of Life in a different league. It was like stepping from my natural social habitat of Circus Circus in Reno into the Venetian in Macao. (Full disclosure: I don't gamble, but still.)


Christina had never played it in all her life. Though new to them, the kids readily embraced it and are now begging for me to take it down off the shelf for another round of excitement. We'll play it again soon; I'm not done evaluating it to see whether it deserves a place in our recommended library.


The real game of life happened on Monday when one of my kids got into his first fisticuff at school. I was careful not to be too tough on him, particularly because I didn't have all the details and he was terrified when he came into my office to report his little misadventure.


Apparently, another kid was picking on him, so he let loose with a few swings. I can't say that I'm altogether displeased. Although I don't want my kids fighting, I want them to have the courage to stand up for themselves. It's an attribute that is helpful as an adult when you need to negotiate contracts or take a stand against dishonest business practices.


Funny enough, James Dentley shared his story with me about getting into a fight in front of his mom. She just sat and watched. Though hard for him to understand at the moment, he later realized that she was teaching him to solve his own problems. It's a great story, and he has much more wisdom to add.


Life continues apace, and our family intends to learn from the fun and not so fun aspects of it.

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