Friday, February 25, 2011

Contributing to the Delinquency of my Minors?

Wonderfully Dysfunctional
Some families play Monopoly, some play Chutes-n-Ladders. In my house the game of choice is Poker.  Texas Hold ‘Em.

To make it even more deplorable, we don’t play for silly prizes or trinkets. No way! We play for money, green hard cash. If the kids want to play, they know to bring their piggy banks because Mommy doesn’t bank roll their gambling.

Not everyone appreciates our love for Poker.  During family parties, my children are banned from the poker table.  Family members scold: “It’s inappropriate… You’re raising degenerates … Gambling leads to crime.” And my personal favorite, “What next?  Money laundering?”  But they’re scolding me while counting chips and peaking at their own poker hands.

Why do I let them play Poker? Because poker is our equalizer. It bridges the gap between our ages. My teens become people. We interact, laugh and talk. It works for us.

Why not play board games? I wish I liked board games. Really I do. But I’d rather stick hot burning embers in my eyes than play with paper money or dice. I hate board games and my kids can tell – they know when Mom’s bluffing ;-).

A well-known Harvard law professor Charles Nesson wants to teach kids the skills of life using poker. He says, “Though just a game, poker teaches survival skills and encourages the development of good instincts. A good poker player learns to size up the competition quickly and decide where potential risks lie."

Acquiring math and life skills is just a bonus. I spend a lot of my time teaching, lecturing, or punishing my kids. Poker allows me to just play with them.  Don’t worry, it’s not casino central every night. Here are other equalizers we’ve found:
  • Cooking Channel – A compromise between their teen-trash and my chick flicks.
  • Colombo DVD series –Colombo rocks and is good for ages 9 and up.
  • Trampoline – Jumping on the trampoline reminds the kids that Mom’s not so old.
  • Set – A card game that doesn’t include betting and bluffing. Yes, we have some!
I’m not saying Poker is the answer for you. And I’m not picketing the schools to get poker into the classrooms. I’m saying find what suits your family and don’t be afraid to look outside the norm.

What are your equalizers?

Thanks for stopping by.
Please support me with your honesty.


This post is linked to the following blogs:
 Smart and Trendy Moms


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  2. Poker works for me :) It is just a game and heck, can even teach the value of this hand really worth lunch at Taco Bell after school? Hmmm...
    Equalizers are hard to come by here with a 10 year age gap b/w the boys...but pizza & movie night comes close. The big guy gets to be a kid again when little bro picks out the movie & the little guy gets a taste of "big people" movies i.e. not animated :P

  3. Buffi, I totally agree with your use of poker to teach and have fun at the same time! My granddaughter and I paint together and my grandson loves doing crafts with Granny. I don't think it matters what the activity happens to be as long as they have your attention. I love your blog!

  4. One of my favorite memories as a little girl was tagging along with my dad to his buddies garage for poker night and getting to play just like I was an adult. They played more with silver than green though, lol. I still have a nickle from one of the poker games that I've kept for about 15 years now or longer.

    We like to watch movies with our kids. Some people might think we're crazy but we allow them to watch any kind of movie despite the language or content (no porn though, lol). Our kids love scary movies the best and as long as they can handle them that's fine with me. We took them to watch Hall Pass over the weekend and the girl at the ticket counter looked at us like we were crazy. They are 11 and 13 by the way.

    They've never picked up bad habits from watching these movies. They are not chain smokers or thiefs or serial killers. I just like for them to watch what they enjoy and pray my son doesn't talk about "fake chow" while in the presence of a teacher, lol.

  5. Poker rocks. Why would you ever want to be normal? You're perfect the way you are: non-boring.

  6. I think it's great that you play poker! I am not very good at it and you would love to see me coming, but I think it's a lot of fun! We used to play family poker before our granddaughter Grace discovered board games that actually make you think, so now we play educational board games after every family dinner!

  7. Wow, It is exciting that your book will be coming out in Spring! Sounds like an intriguing life!

    I grew up in a house where Poker was evil, not even the adults played it. I learned it all from my friends and husband and I have fun with it. My kids are still too young to understand the game themselves, we usually stick to watching movies together for fun and I homeschool which allows me to get to know my kids and their needs very intimately. Thank you for sharing and for stopping by my blog. I am returning the favor.

    Leetah East

  8. Thanks for the follow! I'm now following you.

    I've only played Texas Hold 'Em once, and it was with M&Ms. I found the game to be delicious!

  9. I'm your newest follower. I hope you'll come over and visit my blog as well.

    Congrats on your book!!!!

    Many blessings!

  10. When I was little, my dad taught me to play a 3 card version of poker. It goes very fast and it's all about watching your opponent and learning body language for making choices on whether to raise or fold. Sadly, hubby has no interest in gambling with me. He says it's the same money. I was always a sucker for giving the teens back their money, but they're getting older now, they're teens and they annoy the crap out of me by being such, so maybe we should start playing again. :-D
    Good to know other moms can relate and I don't have to hide my dirty secret of gambling with my kids.
    Other pastimes are Monopoly (feeds my need to gamble), movies and shopping.

  11. I love Poker. My grandfather taught me to play as a girl and those are some of my favorite memories as a kid.

    We play cards & we actually also dance as a family. We love to have "dance offs" using our Kinect and playing the game Dance Central. There is just nothing more fun and enjoyable than laughing with each other, at each other and for each other as we move our bodies joyfully to some great and not so great music.

    I think that anything you can do to engage your family as a whole is FANTASTIC!

  12. As a kid I played 5card stud with a stripped deck from the deuce-seven.