Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wonder Why Wednesday: Chutes and Ladders

Ty, my three-year old, asked to play "Chutes and Ladders" with me today. We got the game, sat down to play, and reviewed the rules.

I find innumerable teaching moments when we play board games:

1.  We review rules, which works his memory.

2. We have to follow rules, a life skill.

3. We take turns and use niceties as we play.

4. It takes patience, because these preschool games take quite a bit of time.

5. We finish what we start.

So, number 5 did not really happen today, and as usual, I am wondering if I did the right thing.

Ty wanted to disregard the spinning-number part of the game. He wanted to climb ladders and go down chutes. I told him that was fine, but then we were not playing and he could just mess around with the board. This resulted in a screaming crying fit. I stood my ground, but should I have modified the rules, just once?

I wonder, because he is only three. He is small. He wanted to have fun. Is one game of Chutes and Ladders that impressionable for the rest of his life?

I wonder, because what I do matters. I want him to understand rules and know that consistently his father and I enforce them. I want him to know we don't cheat (even though that probably wasn't his intention).

I want him to be happy and know that I love him. I want him to be prepared for life, for me to give him as best a handbook as I can. I just always wonder if I do.