Mediaplanet: What are the benefits of a family game night?

Bob Moog: The benefits of a family game night are creating memories, family fun and social experiences. The 21st century American family is fighting a losing battle against a technologically driven society to maintain established family values and traditions. Families need to share oral histories and learn life lessons from one another. That only happens in safe settings where conversation takes place. We learn from each other how to handle situations and how to view issues both in the world and our everyday life.

Board games create a unique opportunity to create family memories in an intergenerational setting. What other activities allow the gentle sharing of ideas with a five-year-old, parent and grandparent?

MP: How does a working mother find time to schedule family fun activities?

BM: Today’s family has very specific differences from every other generation in our nation’s history. Part of the difference is the role of the parents. Working mothers can only find time to properly plan and engage with their children if the whole family helps out. The days of every woman trying to be a “super mom” are no longer fair to the working mother. I would like to see the “traditional” mom role of shopping, housecleaning and childcare shared among all family members. This is already happening in many families across the country. For a working mom, or any mom, time management is a critical key to a happy life. The other way to find time is to create a consistent schedule so that the family fun is a recognized part of the week. Reading a book, going for a walk or playing a game can also be spontaneous in small 20 to 30 minute increments.  

MP: Why is it so important to maintain a work-life balance?

BM: I have a rather contrary view of work-life balance, which is that the healthiest and happiest life is not actually a balance between work and life, but rather a more holistic model of “work as a way of life.”  Since we generally have about 16 waking hours a day, most people find themselves frustrated trying to “balance” work and life.  Since balance means equal, the two will always be unbalanced. My approach is to mix “work” and “life” by designing ways that the two can flow together. Rather than “balancing,” I suggest that women find careers and lifestyles that achieve life-work integration. Life-work integration is essential to a healthy, happy and balanced life.