Family Game Night

Family Game NightCredit: dionhinchcliffeCredit: dionhinchcliffe

Family game night is great way for busy families to spend some time together, having fun and bonding. Nagging goes out the door, and everyone gets to laugh and unwind. It’s been a tradition in your family for years, but all of a sudden you find that your once exuberant child, who couldn’t wait all week for family game night, became a teen. Now family game night seems to be a drag to them. Like most teens, they’d probably rather be out with their friends. You don’t want to give up this valuable time you get to spend as a family, so how can you get them excited by family game night game again? Here are a few tips for making the occasion a little more teen-approved.


Although they are great fun, ditch the traditional board games like Monopoly sometimes. There are so many ways you can play games at home now – Wii games, Rock Band and Scene It games are just some. Join together in a team and play an online multi-player game; play against each other. Most teens enjoy at least some of these types of games, so having them available to play in your house, and being willing to try them yourself can go a long way towards engaging them.

Give Them Choice

Let your teen feel more in control by allowing him to decide what game you are going to play. It will make him feel more involved if he’s part of planning your night. Additionally, when he gets to choose something he likes playing, the willingness to interact with his family can go up significantly. You can rotate who gets to pick the game every week to make it fair for everyone.

Change the Day

Although it is not feasible for everyone, if you can make family game night on a weekday you are almost guaranteed a teenage version of enthusiasm. For example, Monday is typically considered a bummer day for working adults and school goers alike – why not make a dreaded day better by ending it with family game night? It gives the whole family something to look forward to and won’t cut into your kids’ weekend plans.

Bring Goodies

The phrase “the way to man’s heart is through his stomach” isn’t entirely accurate – the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, and that includes teens. Load up on all their favorite drinks, treats and snacks for family game night, and you’ll score major cool points. (Note: Cool points don’t count towards your game score.)

Let Them DJ

Another great way to liven up the atmosphere is by letting them be DJ for the night. Yes, I know, listening to your teen’s choice of music all night may be a huge sacrifice for some of you, but it’s one they really will appreciate. Music they like can definitely make family game night more appealing to them and it is also another chance for them to get to be in control. It’s an occasional sacrifice worth making.