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Subject: Is "pushing Children" to much wrong? rss

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Mav
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You see it here all the time, "little tommy is 3 and plays Caverna" I admit my girls are gamers, but I choose games carefully and slowly.

So what do you think is right or wrong about "pushing" kids to more advanced games?
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Boaty McBoatface
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Yes, should not be pushed into doing anything they do not wish. They have to be allowed to develop their own minds and states and not become vicarious outlets for their parents desires.

Now it is more then likely that you are not going this far, but it is better to not drive at the speed limit if you wish to avoid driving over it.
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Josh Zscheile
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Anything you do 'too much' is inherently wrong... if it is not, you are not doing it too much.
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Nathanael Robinson
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slatersteven wrote:
Yes, should not be pushed into doing anything they do not wish. They have to be allowed to develop their own minds and states and not become vicarious outlets for their parents desires.

Now it is more then likely that you are not going this far, but it is better to not drive at the speed limit if you wish to avoid driving over it.


I agree entirely. Children are developmentally different at each age, and learning and play must be structured accordingly. They might understand the various mechanisms of Caverna, but it might not engage them meaningfully, and it might take away too much time that they could be playing (with a toy, friend, or game) that might help them more.
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marc lecours
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You should not push children to play games.

It will backfire on you. In the long run the child will not develop a love of gaming. If you push much too hard the child will develop a block against gaming. If you push but not hard enough to make it unpleasant, then the child will play for the company of the parent and to please the parent. But as a teenager they will cut down on gaming or even abandon gaming (unless their gaming skill allows them to gain social status with their friends(depends on the friends)).

So do not push.

On the other hand you should challenge the mental ability of the child. Sticking with Candyland when they can handle Caverna is not a good thing. Each child is different and develops at a different pace. If they always stay in their comfort zone they will not grow to their full potential. Young children crave mental stimulation (as long as it is a positive experience). They absolutely love having their intellectual boundaries expanded. BUT by a safe/comfortable amount.

If you go too far, a blockage occurs. If you are not careful, the child can start rejecting novel experiences and stick to what is safe and familiar. You have to really pay attention to the individual child.

Conclusion:
Challenge but do not push. There is a huge difference between the two but the difference is not "what you do" but "how the child reacts".

Therefore pay attention to the child's reaction when you challenge/push.

(edited spelling)
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Kerstin
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Most kids I know are pretty "outspoken" about the things they like or find boring, so I always found that when it comes to playing games listening to what they want to do is the best way to go.
If they see you playing Caverna and ara asking you to play it, then maybe let them play with you on a team or play a game with the Caverna components with very stripped down rules adding more when the kids feel ready for it.

In most cases both too "easy" as well as too long and challenging games will start to be boring for kids after a while, but when you have something they are asking for themselves and want to continue playing, it's probably a good "sweet spot" for them.

Long story short, I personally thing the best is to try out a lot and see how the kids respond to it and go from there.
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Kim Williams
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mav___ wrote:
You see it here all the time, "little tommy is 3 and plays Caverna" I admit my girls are gamers, but I choose games carefully and slowly.

So what do you think is right or wrong about "pushing" kids to more advanced games?


Just because someone's child plays a game at a surprisingly early age it does not mean they were pushed into it (which is what your post seems to imply).

When my children were younger they'd often see we had a new game, and show interest in playing, and I'd tell them (when I thought it appropriate) something to the effect of "I think this one would be a bit too much for you, maybe in a few years". But then they'd persevere in their asking and I'd decide we'd let them try - I even had my son manage to learn a pretty complex game, just by listening in to us gaming while he was supposed to be sleeping upstairs.

As a result of their enthusiasm for playing our adult games (which I'm sure stemmed from them seeing our enthusiasm for them) we didn't end up sticking to them playing only 'child friendly games'. They don't appear to have suffered for it, as they're now still enthusiastic about gaming.
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Chip Crawford
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Parents who love their children push them AWAY from Caverna.

(Just kidding, ya'll, it's Tuesday...we all have a long way to the weekend. Take it easy with the pitchforks. haha)
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Stephen Williams
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entwife wrote:
Just because someone's child plays a game at a surprisingly early age it does not mean they were pushed into it (which is what your post seems to imply).


This.

I agree that a good parent should not push their children into playing any game (regardless of the child's age or the relative complexity of the game.) That said, just because a surprisingly young kid is into surprisingly complex games, it doesn't mean he was forced into them.

My advice to the OP would be to not spend so much time worrying about what games other people's kids are playing. With your own kids, play the games they want to play. The end goal is fun, after all, whatever form that may take.

Having said that, you might consider giving them the opportunity to play new games without worrying too much what age it's meant for. If you're buying the game for yourself anyway and they seem interested in trying it, I mean.

If they don't like it or can't handle it, that's cool. Stop playing and move on to something better suited to their tastes.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I recommend paying close attention to the children themselves, and ignoring most of what you read on the internet. Your kids are unique; nobody here knows them like you do.
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Martin Larouche
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entwife wrote:
mav___ wrote:
You see it here all the time, "little tommy is 3 and plays Caverna" I admit my girls are gamers, but I choose games carefully and slowly.

So what do you think is right or wrong about "pushing" kids to more advanced games?


Just because someone's child plays a game at a surprisingly early age it does not mean they were pushed into it (which is what your post seems to imply).

When my children were younger they'd often see we had a new game, and show interest in playing, and I'd tell them (when I thought it appropriate) something to the effect of "I think this one would be a bit too much for you, maybe in a few years". But then they'd persevere in their asking and I'd decide we'd let them try - I even had my son manage to learn a pretty complex game, just by listening in to us gaming while he was supposed to be sleeping upstairs.

As a result of their enthusiasm for playing our adult games (which I'm sure stemmed from them seeing our enthusiasm for them) we didn't end up sticking to them playing only 'child friendly games'. They don't appear to have suffered for it, as they're now still enthusiastic about gaming.


This too.

My own daughter is 7 and she plays Terra Mystica. She has requested it on a few occasions.

Now, she might not be in the mood for it when "I" request it, so we play something we all want to play... but then that's true of anyone with any game, not just children.

I wouldn't even dream of teaching Terra Mystica to many people. Too complex and they are not used to this kind of game. They wouldn't enjoy the experience and they are not prepared mentally to play those games.

So in short: play what people (not strictly children) want to play. Children don't need to be singled out.
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Nathanael Robinson
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Ultimately, the question of how to get children to play heavy games rests on shaky ground. It sounds more like imposing one's own hobbies and interests on another person than sharing sharing them with someone. I think the better question is: how do I encourage my child's interest in gaming?

First, that means recognizing what your child is interested in. If s/he does care much for games, leave it at that. An occasional family game would be fine, but I wouldn't ask her or him to participate much more than on a weekly basis. And if they do take an interest in gaming, make sure it is not there only hobby. Kids need a variety of experiences, and those experiences should include different challenges and different groups of people.

Second, recognize what types of games interest your kid. Theme resonates more with my son that I would have thought. He hates fantasy, which makes it difficult to find reading material that sufficiently challenges him (too many Harry Potter clones are on the market). Subsequently, big fantasy games don't resonate with him. He like space and war, and the heavier games in our collection reflect that.

Third, have lighter games along with heavy games. The mechanics of heavy games can be found in lighter games as well. Have things that are easier to pick up, set up, play and put away. Make sure you keep some kid's games. Getting better at simple games will make them better at complex games.

Fourth, don't dismiss something that you see as being not serious or too commercial. My son learned a lot from playing Pokemon with his friends. (Conversely, he learned how to beat a lot of his friends in Pokemon by playing King of Tokyo, Smash Up, Sentinels of the Multiverse, etc.)

Fifth, program breaks into long games. Our longest games are Tide of Iron and Core Worlds. If I know something will take more than 90 minutes, we take a break at the 1 hour mark to refresh. The breather might give your child a chance to see what's going on in the game.

Sixth, change the rules at times. Realize that sometimes one or two things make give a child the chance to take in the experience better and make it less punishing. If the game is asymmetric, let them pick their team. Maybe let them have an extra resource at the beginning of a turn. In KoT, I let kids start with 12 health. We've been playing Baseball Highlights 2045, but my son is still struggling to understand baseball strategy, which is relevant to winning this game. In order to make it more approachable, we draft three players, play a three game series, and put are teams away, as they are, until the next session. Also change the rules to see how a game might play differently under different circumstances. My son and I have been experimenting with a "push" ability in Battle Sheep.

Seventh, find some games that have a "sandbox" aspect too it. Related to the point I made above, kids like to manipulate the circumstances of a game--to play their game as much as the one that is in the rulebook.
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Arlyn Janssen
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ovis wrote:
Most kids I know are pretty "outspoken" about the things they like or find boring, so I always found that when it comes to playing games listening to what they want to do is the best way to go.


This has been my experience. My son is 7. On the one hand, he just wants to learn and play all the games in my collection. On the other hand, he knows that some games are too text-heavy or too complicated. My job isn't to decide what game to play, but instead to know the games well enough to explain them in a way he can understand. Then he can decide whether it sounds interesting or not, or too complicated, etc.

Trajan, as an example, is a game that he has wanted to learn for some time. It's my favorite game and he sees me playing it quite often, so naturally he is drawn to it as well. I've never said, "no, you're not ready for that" or "why don't we play this other game instead", but rather I take it down, pull out the components and start explaining the game. Maybe we even walk through a turn or two before he realizes it's too complicated for him right now. We've done this dance 3 times. I'm not imposing anything on him (unless you think that me liking a game is an imposition since my son very clearly wants to "be like daddy"), but I'm not going to restrict him either. He'll let me know when he's ready to play. Until then, I'll be available to answer his questions and teach him a game for which he is ready.
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James Arias
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enemyoftheworld wrote:
ovis wrote:
Most kids I know are pretty "outspoken" about the things they like or find boring, so I always found that when it comes to playing games listening to what they want to do is the best way to go.


This has been my experience. My son is 7. On the one hand, he just wants to learn and play all the games in my collection. On the other hand, he knows that some games are too text-heavy or too complicated. My job isn't to decide what game to play, but instead to know the games well enough to explain them in a way he can understand. Then he can decide whether it sounds interesting or not, or too complicated, etc.



My experience too. My oldest likes games and is more likely to try something new out in my collection, or ask to play something vs. me asking to play something. My youngest is not really a game fan, though she loves Once Upon a Time and surprisingly The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac. If it's all 3 of us for a game session I get them to pick something all 3 of us will enjoy.

I think all parents should find some kind of activity they and their kids can do together, whether it's gaming or something else (like MeTV Super Scifi Saturday Night, or Badminton, or...). It's the bonding and interaction and memories that matter.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Yes, should not be pushed into doing anything they do not wish. They have to be allowed to develop their own minds and states and not become vicarious outlets for their parents desires.

Now it is more then likely that you are not going this far, but it is better to not drive at the speed limit if you wish to avoid driving over it.


I agree entirely. Children are developmentally different at each age, and learning and play must be structured accordingly. They might understand the various mechanisms of Caverna, but it might not engage them meaningfully, and it might take away too much time that they could be playing (with a toy, friend, or game) that might help them more.
A friends child saw us playing a game (cannot remember which one) and wanted to join in. It (being a child) then decided to change the game, I let it.

Better a child learns to love gaming, then hate one game.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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slatersteven wrote:
]A friends child saw us playing a game (cannot remember which one) and wanted to join in. It (being a child) then decided to change the game, I let it.

Better a child learns to love gaming, then hate one game.

What I see most often is that a kids wants to learn a game my son is playing, or he wants to teach them a game. I always feel that I am put into an awkward situation, judging what and what is not appropriate for specific kids.

Most recently, my son tried to teach Memoir 44 to one of his friends. After Tide of Iron and C&C Ancients, Memoir is pretty simply for my 9 year old. I could see his friends struggling to balance out the various abilities of the units, gaining advantages from terrain and figuring out how to create a global strategy out of the sector cards. It led to "analysis impulsiveness," as I can best describe it: coming to quick decisions.

To add to the problem, one of the kids, a girl (perhaps in second grade) didn't understand why the scenario was set up as it was. It was one of the D-Day scenarios from the core game instructions. Why were the tanks in the water? Why do the two sides have different pieces? Why aren't the allies getting the same cover? I realized that she knew little about WWII, and many things had to be explained to her. For fifteen minutes, I carefully and methodically explained what was at stake during the war and the sacrifices that the soldiers made. Luckily, I have some experience teaching (though not elementary school children), and I got a lot of support from her grandmother.
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Tadeu Zubaran
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I am not anglophone but this question seems to be tautologic. When you say too much it is implicit that there is a proper amount of "push" and you went over it.
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Mav
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You guys are reading far to much into the title here.
 
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