7 Strategies for Highly Successful Teens

FinalHighRes010-XL

A life changing program for your teens.

I am so excited to announce I have a new program for Teens, Parents and Teachers.

In this fun, entertaining and inspirational talk I go over the 7 strategies for highly effective teens.

This is nothing like your typical high school presentation.

Here are some highlights:

  • Groundbreaking research insights about the teen brain and behavior
  • Hilarious and inspiring videos
  • Immediately applicable action steps to motivate and encourage teens from all levels
  • Relatable stories for teens to feel engaged and understood

I can’t give too much away, but in this talk we delve into both the lighthearted and serious issues teens face including:

  • Effective communication with peers, parents and teachers
  • Mastering the online environment–preventing cyberbullying, staying savvy online and building a digital reputation that lasts
  • School – life balance, reducing stress and finding the right outlets
  • How to have healthy relationships with the important people in a teen’s life
  • Planning for the future, smart college applications, resume building and finding your life passions

I am stoked about this new talk and have already booked out January, February and March at High Schools, youth conferences and Parent groups around the US.

Please contact our manager Lynn Campbell for pricing and date availability:

 manager@radicalparenting.com

*Yes, of course, we have a tween version!

5 Financial Mistakes Parents Accidentally Make

KeysJohn Coleman is a father of three living in Tennessee. He shares tips related to smart money management, family life, and home improvement.

Teaching kids about money is essential if they’re going to grow into financially responsible adults. Unfortunately, the school system doesn’t do it, and if you think the Internet is a good resource, well, let’s just say there’s a good bit of misinformation out there. As a good parent, the responsibility falls entirely on you. When you take on this task, however, it’s important to practice what you preach, and there are far too many financial mistakes that parents commonly make. Most of these don’t happen on purpose, but it’s how you deal with them that’s important.

1. Falling Into Credit Card Debt
The average American adult carries $3,037 in credit card debt according to the Federal Reserve. Do not let yourself fall into that trap. If you don’t currently have a credit card balance, commit to never carrying one. If you do, devise a pay-off plan and put it into motion immediately. Reduce your monthly bills, save on groceries by clipping coupons, and refinance your home loan if it makes sense.

2. Not Saving for Retirement
The National Institute on Retirement Security reports that roughly 45% of American households have nothing saved for retirement. Just as the responsibility of teaching your kids about money is yours alone, no one is going to invest in your retirement for you either. Get signed up for a 401k program if one is available through your employer. If you already have one in place, boost your contributions. Make adjustments to your monthly finances – like eliminating impulse purchases and cutting home energy costs – and you won’t even notice the difference.

3. Failing to Have an Emergency Fund
No one can predict when a major medical expense is going to hit or if your car is about to break down. Don’t let these things throw your finances for a loop. Sign up for the best cash-back credit card available and put all your rewards toward an emergency fund. It may take some time to build one up sufficiently, but you have to start somewhere. Set up your direct deposit so that a small amount is transferred into your emergency fund each pay period.

4. Not Having a Save-First Mindset
One of the best things you can do when managing your finances is to adopt a “save-first” mindset. Get all your saving out of the way at the beginning of each month or right after each paycheck. Then, you can spend anything leftover with confidence. Participating in a 401k plan can help as well, and also consider setting up automatic contributions to your retirement accounts.

5. Not Starting a Budget
Creating a budget can seem like a pain, but it’s a necessity, plain and simple. How are you ever going to reach your savings goals if you’re spending more than you make each month? To simplify the process, sign up at a website such as Mint or PearBudget. It’s a quick and easy way to get an effective money management system in place.

Final Thoughts
You won’t necessarily pay the price for any of these mistakes in the short-term, but you’re almost certainly going to further down the road. The economy is not out of the woods yet, retirement programs like Social Security and Medicare are facing difficulties, and you never know what the future has in store for you. Get a firm grip on your finances starting today and you’re going to be that much better prepared for whatever life presents you in the years ahead.

Can you think of any other financial mistakes parents accidentally make?

4 Ways Parents Can Help Teens Relieve Stress

stressed, stressed teens, anxiety, anxious, overwhelmed

Vatsala is a 16-year-old from Amritsar, India. She enjoys listening to music, reading books, writing, doodling and her favorite subjects are English and Math. She wants to grow up to be a TV Journalist.

Stress is something that everybody has on their minds and, if not catered to properly, can turn out to be really bad for a person’s mind. Teens these days have a million worries—social, academic or familial problems, fitting in, getting bullied, relationships and popularity! Everything can stress a teen out. They can always turn to their friends, but the satisfaction they can get by talking to their parents is something friends can’t provide. Here are a few ways parents can help their stressed teenagers relieve that stress.

 

1) Talking

Talking might sound like a cliché, but it is really effective. Make them tell you their woes and their problems. Give them the advice you think will help them.

2) Family Time

To get their mind to something else, plan family time once in a while! Play, laugh and celebrate without any reason! Be spontaneous!

3) Freedom

Give teens a little freedom and space to go out with their friends and be alone for a while! Hanging out with friends can be peaceful.

4) Don’t Impose

Don’t impose your own pressures on them. Keep the atmosphere in the house calm and happy. The atmosphere affects the mind and sets the mood.

Teens might not come to talk to you, but try to indulge in their lives because in the end parents are the ones who come to their rescue!

Want to see 90210 star Shenae Grimes in a dramatic leading role? Check out the latest movie by executive producer Elliott Broidy called “Sugar”. Shenae’s leading role takes her to Venice Beach, California where she ends up making lasting relationships with other homeless teens. Rotini Rainwater and Elliott Broidy’s Sugar is inspired by real events and has goals to educate people on homelessness in America. Watch the trailer below!

Photo Credit –  Photo Literacy

 

What’s Wrong With Asking, “What’s Wrong?”

This article is by our teen intern Layla. She is 14 years old from California.  She loves to read and spend time with friends.

Teenagers can have lots of problems, a fact they want everyone on earth to be aware of. These problems can vary from school-related issues to friendship woes and the touchiness concerning these subjects that seems to have lasted since the Dark Ages. So when parents sense that their teen may be troubled by something and want to help, they generally resort to asking, “what’s wrong?” which generally increases your teen’s testiness (I know it seems impossible but, believe me, it is) and decreases the chances of him or her actually telling you what’s wrong.

“What’s wrong?” can feel patronizing and slightly insulting- it makes teens feel like something is wrong with them. Personally, if my parents ask me what’s wrong, I roll my eyes and say, “Nothing. God.” And yes, I do that even if something actually is wrong. Why? Because in my irritable state, I feel offended and am less inclined to talk about why I’m upset.

However, not all hope at parent-teen communication is lost. Parents should try using different questions or methods for getting their teen to open up to them. But parents should also accept that sometimes, no matter how inoffensively they approach their child, they will not always talk to you. They may be keeping mum for a multitude of reasons: they want a little privacy, it’s not a major problem, etc.

Here are a few alternatives to “what’s wrong”:

1. “How was your day?”

Alright, so your teen probably (most likely) always answers this question in five words or less. But even if they don’t regularly give you a particularly detailed answer, your child is always forced to reflect upon his or her day for a moment or two when being asked about it. If something happened that day and you ask about it, your teen will think about their day and possibly feel up to talking about whatever transpired.

2. “We can talk if you’d like to.”

Reassuring your teen that you can always talk is a gentle invitation to conversation. It’s subtle enough to not sound offensive but also direct enough for your teen to understand you feel that something’s upsetting him or her and are free to talk. Your teen won’t feel pressured to talk to you but will be aware of the option.

3. “Is something upsetting you?”

If you feel like something is distressing your teen and they’re not talking to you about it, this is a to-the-point way to get him or her to talk to you. Though this question is very similar to “what’s wrong?”, the different wording will make your teen less at fault. “What’s wrong?” can make it sound like you’re asking, “What’s wrong with you?” But if you ask what’s upsetting your teen that places the (of course unintentional) “blame” elsewhere.

Real-estate agents say a deal is all about location, location, location. Parent-teen relationships are all about communication, communication, communication. However this can be very difficult in a world where teens are infamous for telling their parents, “OH MY GOD LEAVE ME ALONE”. They are so notorious for saying/yelling/screeching this phrase, in fact, that is has developed into a cinematic stereotype. But when your teen tells you to leave him or her alone, about 95% of the time they don’t entirely mean it.

Sometimes being left alone is great- it can give one time to think things through and come back to a situation with a fresh perspective. But other times, teens just want to talk but grow uncomfortable at the prospect of doing so. So, as a parent, it’s important to keep communication lines open and approach your teen gently and invitingly.

Talking to Kids About Drinking And Driving

On June 22, 2013, drunken driver Matthew Cordle hit and killed Vincent Canzani. In a somber YouTube video, Cordle publicly confessed to causing the fatal crash and pledged to accept responsibility for his actions.

This tragedy sends chills down the spines of parents everywhere. How can parents protect their children from drunken drivers, and how can we help our youth understand the importance of driving sober?

Cordle’s YouTube confession, with 2 million views and counting, gives parents an impetus to have a difficult but necessary conversation with their children. Here are some tips for broaching this sensitive topic with clarity and poignancy:

1. What do they know?
When you first sit down with your child, it is important to find out what they already know and have heard about drunken driving. This is important for all ages, because it allows you to dispel any myths and work off what they have already heard at school or from friends. Here are some questions you can ask depending on your child’s age:

  • Do you know what it means to drive drunk? To drive under the influence?
  • Have you ever talked about drunken driving at school?
  • Have you heard stories about drunken driving? What do you know about it?
  • How do you think drunken driving happens?

Read the rest of my article at HLN!

What’s the big deal with failure?

ID-100177579By Jackie Charley, Author of ‘Unlock the Cage: Empowering parents to step out of fear into freedom’

Why are we all so afraid of the ‘F’ word? It seems to be the one thing we run from, or cover up at any cost.

What is the big deal with failure?

It’s always portrayed as such a negative thing. Even schools, which are supposed to be the seat of learning, make harsh distinctions between a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Yet why categorise something as ‘failed’ when it represents such a brilliant opportunity to learn? That’s not failure, that’s an open door.

“Endlessly protecting young people from any experience of failure is unhelpful. It means that failure becomes shameful, incomprehensible and much harder to bear when it happens.” Nick Luxmore, Psychotherapist and Counsellor at King Alfred’s Academy, in the UK.

The thing is nobody likes to fail, even less to be seen to have failed. But my feeling is that we need to stop running from failure.  We need to stop pretending that our kids will never fail, and we need to stop trying to protect them from doing so. Failure is a fact of life. Let’s stop treating it like the big dark bogey-man, the elephant in the room, the one thing we hope will never happen.

Let’s just take away failure’s power to scare us by holding its hand. It will be our constant companion for as long as we have breath in our bodies, so let’s take the sting out of its tail and sit down, as if with a friend, and learn what it can teach us.

How do we do that with our kids?

Well, there are quite a few things that can be done to turn failure into your best weapon, but here are two great ideas for starters:

  1. Empathise.

Let your kids know that you really understand how disappointed or frustrated they feel when things don’t go as they’d planned.  Often we so desperately want to fix things for them, to be the time-travelling hero who puts it all right again.  But even if that were possible it would be giving them a very unreal picture of the world.  What they need to hear is that we understand.  Of course, that doesn’t take away from the fact that failure can really hurt. It stings, it cuts and it thumps us in the chest. So let your kids acknowledge their emotions and cry, shout and stamp about.  That’s OK. In fact, if we truly acknowledge strong emotions they normally only last for about 90 seconds, so let them do just that and then they can move on, sit down with this ‘new friend’, and learn.

  1. Teach them that there is no failure only feedback

Read, repeat and inwardly digest this phrase. In fact, why not make it a family mantra since all our failures and mistakes are simply telling us how not to do something; we just need to work out what to do differently next time round. Let’s join the ranks of Thomas Edison who ‘failed’ 999 times before he found the right filament to make his light bulb work. Or Michael Jordan who missed 9000 shots and lost 300 games during his career but went on to be the greatest basketball player of all time. If these guys had taken failure too seriously they would have just given up. But they didn’t. They just learned from what didn’t work until eventually they found out what did.

Failure is a means, not an end

“There’s a common misconception that children develop resistance by encountering failure. That’s a myth. Children develop resilience by dealing successfully with failure.” Dr Laura Markham

Their persistence, their willingness to try again and again produces a tough internal characteristic psychologists call ‘grit’. It’s earthy, it’s real and it’s nurtured by sweat and tears. As Dr Christine Carter of Raising Happiness says: “We humans develop grit by encountering difficulty and learning to cope with it.”

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if our homes became complete ‘no blame’ zones? Places where our kids made mistakes but weren’t blown out of the water for them. Places where they dared to try new things, to discover, to mess up, and for it all to be part of the fun of learning. In this kind of home kids would learn how to look at failure without fear. They’d learn that experimenting and working out what went wrong when the honeycomb toffee hit the ceiling instead of just bubbling slightly in the pan, was just par for the course. And they’d try again. They’d become resilient and learn how to deal with disappointment. They’d learn how to adapt and change. These skills will serve them well both in their personal lives and in their future employment. What boss wouldn’t value someone who’s prepared to pick themselves up when things go wrong, who has a fearless desire to learn? Hey, what robust and independent young people we can help them become.

So, I dare you to add ‘the love of failure’ to your family’s list of values.

You up for it?

Let me know.

Image used courtesy of stockimages/ freedigitalphotos.net/

Contact details:

Jackie Profile PicWebsite: www.unlockthecage.com

Email: Jackie@unlockthecage.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreetoParent

Body Language for Back to School

Are there any body language tips for back to school time? Of course! Here are a few tips for parents to make the transition from summer to school easy:

Relaxation is Contagious
Most people don’t realize that body language is contagious. Just like when you see someone yawn, you yawn. This is because of our mirror neurons. We have mirror neurons that like to copy those around us. So, as the first day of school approaches be sure to keep yourself relaxed and calm. If you are nervous, your kids will feel it. So when talking about school keep “relaxed body language” so your kids mirror that. This is relaxed body language:
  • Keep your shoulders loose
  • Use normal volume
  • Don’t cross your arms
  • Head held high
Be Confident Before You Walk In
Most people don’t know that not only do our emotions change our body language, but also our body language changes our emotions. Researchers from Harvard Business School have found that when you have confident body language you begin to feel confident. If you have nervous body language you begin to feel nervous. So, before kids go to school consider pumping them up with the following tips. You can do this by playing some favorite music on the way to school or over breakfast to get kids loose and moving.
  • Smiling
  • Feet firmly planted
  • Hands above head or spread wide
  • Shoulders back and head up
Body Language for Bullies
What should a kid do if he or she has a bully? Above all else they want to avoid “victim” body language. This is the body language we all do when we lose a race or feel sad. Bullies sniff this body language out. What to avoid:
  • Head hung low
  • Body hug
  • Tucked feet
  • Knees turned in
  • Blocking behavior
Then there is winner body language and this is what kids should practice doing to show strength and confidence–remember it helps them feel this way too:
  • Find the sun (chest and head up).
  • Leave torso open
  • Shoulder width feet
  • Arms loose
Again, you mirroring good body language is best of all. We lead by example.
cover hi res copy

Best Parenting Books for Parents of Tweens

best-parenting-book-badge1We love supporting authors and readers and we have selected our top five books for parents:

Best Books for Parents of Kids and Tweens

Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential by Eileen Kennedy Moore, PhD Mark S Lowenthal, PsyD

I love how this book approaches talking to kids about achievement in success–without pushing perfection. A great read, inspiring stories, and helpful advice.

What Kids REALLY Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations‹A Guidebook for Parents and Children Ages 10-­14 by Rhonda A. Richardson, PhD and A. Margaret Pevec, MA

“What Kids REALLY Want to Ask provides an ingenious, fun, and effective way for parents and young people to connect. And it takes exactly this connection for adult wisdom to flow to kids–and for kids to offer their insights to parents.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

I love that this book is about simplifying the lives of parents and kids. If you want to strip down to basics and leave a calmer life, this approach to parenting is for you.

Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

This author is a former teacher and knows exactly how to engage kids to learn and be excited about learning. Her ideas really resonate with both parents and kids.

No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids by Harley Robart, M.D.

If you are not a big reader, this short and sweet book is for you. With some easy lessons and inspiring moments this book can kickstart your bonding with your kids.

Best Books for Parents of All Ages:

NurtureShock: New ThinkingAbout Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This is an amazing book for parents that uses scientific studies to bust parenting myths and help give tools that actually work.

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says might feel a little harsh, but can be a real wake up call to be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

5 Best Gifts for Tweens

At Radical Parenting we always want special occasions to be celebrated right. But sometimes it is so hard to find the right gift for the right age group. So, we have combed the web and stores and asked our teen interns to review the best gifts for the special person in your life.

We have chosen the 5 best gift ideas for tweens:

Best Gifts for Tweens

1. NHL Stanley Cup Air Hockey Game: 

This is an awesome game for tweens to play with friends, siblings or even as a family! We always wanted one of these in my house.  If your kids like having friends over this is a great gift during sleep overs and after school.

2. Nintendo 3DS

This is a very popular gaming system for tweens right now. They can use it with siblings or on road trips. Be sure to set up some electronic guidelines so they don’t get too addicted, but a nice distraction device to have on hand for traffic or rainy days.

best gifts, best birthday gifts, best gifts for girls, best gifts boys, best gift for girl, best gifts for boys, best gifts girls, top gifts for boys, best gifts for girl, best gifts teen, best gifts for teens, best gifts teens, best gift for a girl, best gifts for teen, best teenage gifts, best gift for girls, top christmas gifts for boys, top 10 gifts for boys, best christmas gifts for girls, best christmas gifts for teens, best gift for boys, best gifts 5 year old, best gifts for teenagers, best gifts teenagers, best gift for teen, best gifts 12 year old, best gifts 8 year old, best gifts for teen girls, top ten gifts for boys, best christmas gifts for boys, best gifts 11 year old, best gifts 13 year old, best gifts for teenage girls, best gifts under $100, best tween gifts, top gifts for teen boys, best gifts for 2 year olds, best gifts for a girl, best gifts for teen boys, best gifts for tweens, best gifts tweens, best birthday gifts for girls,, best gift for teens, best gifts for tween, best christmas gifts for teenagers , best gifts for 10 year old girls, best gifts for 12 year old boys, best gifts for teenager, best gifts for tween girls, best graduation gifts for girls, best gifts for 10 year old girl, best gifts for 12 year old girls, best gifts for 8 year old girls, best gifts for little girls, top gift ideas for boys, best birthday gifts for teens, best gift for 12 year old boy, best gift for 8 year old girl, best gift for teenagers, best gift ideas for girls, best gifts for 13 year old boys, best gifts for 7 year old girls, best gifts for 8 year old boys, best gifts for 9 year old boys, best gifts for 9 year old girls, top birthday gifts for boys, best gifts for 13 year old girls, best gift ideas for boys, best gift ideas for teens, best gift for 8 year old, best gifts for 10 year old, best gifts for 7 year old, best gifts for 8 year old, best gift for 9 year old, best gifts for 13 year old, best gifts for 14 year old girls, best gifts for 16 year old girls, best gifts for 9 year old, best gift for 12 year old, best gift for 13 year old, best gifts for 12 year old, best gifts for a 10 year old, best gift for 11 year old, best gift for a 13 year old, best gifts for 11 year old, best gifts for 14 year old, best gifts for 15 year old, best gifts for 16 year old, best gifts for 18 year old, best gifts for 18 year old girls, best xmas gifts for girls, best gifts 2009,3. Monopoly

Monopoly is a great way for tweens to learn about money and real estate. Here at Radical Parenting we talk a lot about financial literacy and playing Monopoly is an easy way to talk to kids about saving, spending and getting good at math skills. Play it as a family to encourage discussion and friendly competition. Let your children be the banker to get used to handling the money.

4. Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle

Kids and parents alike are loving the Kinect because it gets kids and teens off the couch and doing interactive play. The bundles come with tons of games that the family can play including getting kids active and playing not just on the couch and playing.

5. Kubit2Me

I discovered Kubit2Me years ago and think this is a great game for getting groups of kids who don’t know each other talking and getting to know each other. It is also very portable and easy to pack and campers can do play this on the first night or during free time to bond, laugh and talk. Easy to understand rules and not many small pieces–perfect for camp!

Be sure to help your child write thank you notes so they are appreciative of all of the wonderful gifts they have received. If you want to check out more gift ideas check out our Best Gifts Post.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

5 Best Board Games for Teens: Ages 13-18

best board games, best games, best board games for teens, best board games for tweens, best board games for kids, best board games for toddlers, best board games for families, best bonding board games
These games are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

At Radical Parenting we believe that board games are a great way for families to bond and connect. We highly encourage our readers and teen interns to buy board games as gifts, bring board games on family vacations and always keep a board game on hand during free time.

We have chosen 5 of our favorite board games for teens.

5 Best Board Games for Teens: (Ages 13-18)

Teaching kids about money, best board games for teens, best board games for families
One of my favorite games of all time!

1. Ticket to Ride

This game is surprisingly engaging and fun. It is a newer game but absolutely worth trying out–your family will soon be addicted! Teens also love playing this themselves as the strategy and take-overs of rail lines are similar to risk and monopoly combined.

Description of Ticket to Ride: October 2, 1900 – it’s 28 years to the day that noted London eccentric, Phileas Fogg accepted and then won a bet that he could travel “Around the World in 80 Days.” Now, at the dawn of the century, some old friends have gathered to celebrate Fogg’s impetuous and lucrative gamble – and to propose a new wager of their own. The stakes: $1 million in a winner-takes-all competition. The objective: to see the most cities in North America – in just 7 days. Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway. For 2 to 5 players ages 8 and older. Playing time: 30-60 minutes. Comes with: 1 Board map of North American train routes, 240 Colored Train Cars, 110 Train Car cards, 30 Destination Tickets, 5 Wooden Scoring Markers, 1 Days of Wonder Online access number, and a Rules booklet.

2. Say Anything

I love games that get people talking and communicating. This one is hilarious and helps players get to know each other. Say Anything is a great social skill builder game and get to know you game if teens aren’t talking as much as parents would like!

Description of Say Anything: From the makers of the award-winning Wits and Wagers comes the next great party game – *Say Anything*. Say Anything is a light-hearted game about what you and your friends think. It gives you the chance to settle questions that have been hotly debated for centuries. For instance, “What’s the best movie of all time?” or “If I could have a BIG anything, what would it be?” So dig deep into your heart or just come up with something witty – this is your chance to Say Anything. Say Anything combines the best elements of Wits and Wagers and Apples to Apples. 1) Ask any question from the card you draw, such as “What’s the best movie of all time?” or “If I could have a BIG anything, what would it be?” 2) Everyone else writes an answer and turns it face-up. 3) Secretly choose your favorite of these answers. Then everyone tries to guess which one you picked. Play *Say Anything* – and find out what your friends really think. Ages: teens and adults. Players: 3 – 8. Teach time: 2 minutes. Play time: 35 minutes.

3. Cashflow Game! 

This is one of the most amazing board games I have ever played. It might seem a little expensive but it is amazing–not just for your kids, but for you as well. It is played in schools across the country and is the most fun way I have found to teach (and learn) about finances.

Description of the Cashflow Game:  The Board Game USA Today Calls “Monopoly on Steroids”. It’s Time to Get Out of the Rat Race. What’s your dream? Freedom of time? Unlimited resources to travel the world? Whatever it may be, CASHFLOW 101 teaches you how to get out of the Rat Race and onto the Fast Track, how to make your money work for you Ð not the other way around. CASHFLOW 101 is an educational board game that simulates real life financial strategies and situations. As a simulation, you learn valuable lessons and gain priceless insights into personal finance and investing without having to put your actual money at risk. Developed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the #1 personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad, CASHFLOW 101 is the ultimate realization of Robert’s vision of an interactive tool for financial education, and the fulfillment of his belief that we learn best by doing. With CASHFLOW 101 you: Practice real world investing with play moneyLearn the differences between an asset and a liabilityDiscover the power of understanding your personal financial statementPlan your strategy with Opportunity Cards that include Big and Small DealsChoose your dream, learn the secrets of the rich, and get on the financial fast track. CASHFLOW 101 is an educational board game that teaches accounting, finance, and investing at the same time – and makes learning fun! 

4. Settlers of Catan

My sisters and Dad love this game so much they actually travel with it. Great for strategizing and thinking critically. It is a more modern game of Risk.

Description of Settlers of Catan: The Settlers of Catan from Mayfair Games is an award-winning strategy game where players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements and cities on their way to victory. The board itself is variable, making each game a little different from the next. Each round of The Settlers of Catan is intended to keep three or four players ages 10 and above engaged for up to 90 minutes. It’s easy to see why The Settlers of Catan has been recognized as a best-selling Game of the Year in both Germany and the U. S. We found this game to be fun and engaging for both children and adults, and the variable nature of the playing field really made us want to play again and again. When we started pausing to contemplate our opponents’ strategy and factoring the probability of different dice rolls into our moves, the game sometimes took longer than expected, but we were so engrossed we didn’t even notice until it was all over.

5.  Scrabble

This is, of course, an oldie but goodie. We have to encourage kids to spell–and think, and grow their vocabulary! Scrabble is a great way to get teens thinking about words and strategizing in their heads. Have a dictionary handy to avoid fights!

Description of Scrabble: The all-American classic crossword game. Your Scrabble words won’t be slip slidin’ away, thanks to this board’s clever “tile-lock” design. There are also soft pads on its bottom that allow you to effortlessly slide the board across a table or rotate it for a better view. And, the compact size of the board, tiles and racks, make the game ideal for travel. You can play Scrabble in a car, train, plane or boat with no worries.

Board games are an awesome way to learn strategy and bond with family and friends. Try having a game night in your house or hosting a game night for your child and their friends.

Have you seen our other top picks?