WHAT'S YOUR GIFT?

Family Matters – Kids Flag Page GAME – review

November 4, 2010, Posted by Mela at 11:09 AM

Photo from Family Matters website


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I first heard about the Kids Flag Page game from Family Matters on Kristen’s blog. Then, four months later, at the Relevant Conference, I was blessed to be given a game for review. And, Family Matters is giving away one game to one lucky reader!
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First, I immediately liked that this tool was a game, not just another book. Believe me, I have read PLENTY on parenting … My bookshelf contains the “Strong-Willed Child,” the “Out of Sync Child,” “Bringing Up Boys,” “How to Have a New Kid by Friday” and more – yes, obviously, we have our challenges and I’m constantly looking for different ideas.
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But, I had never thought to go straight to the source – my kids.
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Even better, is this interactive game is designed and written from a Biblical perspective. Family Matters focuses on “grace-based parenting.” Here’s the game’s description from their website:

The Kids Flag Page is a fun way for moms and dads to interact with their kids and truly discover the heart of each child—who God created them to be. When you follow the simple, step-by-step instructions to complete your child’s Flag Page and read the information in the accompanying book, you will:
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  • Discover the way God uniquely hardwired your children individually and how to best relate to them.
  • Find the six key things that motivate your child
  • Find out what your children love most about life.
  • Connect to the heart of your child.
  • Learn the do’s and don’ts of how to motivate, encourage, discipline and help each child succeed in life.
  • Learn how to raise your kids in the power of God’s grace.
  • Discover how to bring the best out of your strong-willed kids.

Like Kristen, I’ve been parenting my kids the same, when they are so different. That’s not fair to them and it’s not productive for me and my husband. The one-size-fits-all approach to parenting has definitely not worked for us.
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My oldest is an effective, albeit sometimes bossy leader, extremely creative and good at finding out how things work. She shies away from big crowds, but thrives making a small group (her friends or little brothers) laugh with her incredible imagination and quick wit.
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My middle child is the sensitive super hero – the defender against all bad things. He’s also my sensory-seeking, proprioceptive, fearless ball of energy. He is stubborn and severely strong-willed (definitely my son), but once you get past that hard exterior – and if you can move fast enough to catch him – he’s a sweethearted, generous guy.
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My youngest is kind of a combination of the two – he’s my spunky, outspoken leader type, who loves to make others laugh, but can also throw a magnificent fit if he doesn’t get his way. He has followed in his fearless brother’s footsteps, increasing both my blood pressure and trips to the ER.
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I was so interested to find out how they saw themselves – not me or my husband, not their teachers, not the bus driver or neighbors – THEMSELVES. Truthfully, I wondered if my 6-year old would be able to decipher which characteristics were most like him – or if he’d just pick the pictures he liked the best. With a little explaining and helping him read through the cards, he got it.
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This was a chance for me to sit down separately, with each child, and let them think about and talk about themselves. That, in itself, is something we just don’t do often. My daughter would rather not talk about herself and life in her tweens and my boys would rather do than talk.
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I first let my daughter, who is 11 work through the game. She didn’t need much assistance – just encouragement that the end result would help us know her better. My middle guy, who is 8, was the most careful and read every single card. Wittling down the stack into his six favorites and then picking just one (Can’t I pick two, Mom?), proved to be the hardest part. My littlest, who is 6, was excited to get to keep his very own page – all about him.
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Assessing your likes/dislikes, how you learn, what motivates you and what makes you uniquely “you,” is always a good, healthy exercise. I had my ideas of where I would “categorize” my kids, but was still surprised by some of their answers. My husband & I read through the book and had some definite AH-HA moments. We’ve already started implementing small changes.
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Like with our middle child with sensory processing challenges, when we learned more about the issues he might have, we had a whole new appreciation for his uniqueness and had a better perspective on how he deals with different situations. This game can provide that same perspective for your children, no matter what they are like.
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I believe all kids have special needs and it’s our responsibility, and should be our privilege, to discover what those needs are so we can do our best to meet them.

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I was given this game to review, but the opinions expressed are uniquely my own. We loved the game and think you will too! I recommend this game for any parent and will be looking to Family Matters for more resources. Thanks, Family Matters!
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To be eligible to win a Kids Flag Page game of your own, please:

  1. Leave a comment and tell me what you do to get your kids talking about themselves, or a good parenting resource you recommend.

UPDATE: had a major glitch and didn’t see any comments for a while. SORRY! I found them – thank you for entering, for the wonderful ideas & being EXTREMELY patient. I used random.org to choose a winner. Congrats to Nancy for the comment and great suggestion about bringing the game to a family gathering! And, Family Matters offers extra supplies, so the game can be expanded and shared.

Currently have 20 Comments

  1. Angelica Kasputis says:

    This sounds so awesome Mela! And like you said, who would have thought to go straight to you kids instead of to all of those books on our shelves (as good as they may be!). With any great board game, there is always a winner, but with this game, it seems like the whole family wins! How wonderful to walk away from it knowing, deep down, more about who your child is. From the time they are born we wonder what they will be like, what they will do, who they will grow up to be…I think it’s awesome to find out along the way, and not just waiting until they are all grown up!
    At our house, we love to talk over our family dinners, of coarse, but I also try to use every oportunity and situation that arises to probe a little deeper…(“you say your jacket was stolen from school, I wonder why they took it. What do you think was the reason? What do you think we should do”) …anything that gives us the chance to connect. We also recently got a book that has over 100 questions in it for kids. It is a tool to get conversations going about important topics and decisions. My oldest loves it and we have used it quite a bit.
    Thanks for the chance to win what sounds like an amazing little game!

  2. Angelica Kasputis says:

    Oh, and I shared this link on my facebook too! :)
    Thanks again!

  3. April Kolari says:

    I have a 4 yr old with Aspergers. My 8 yr old was diagnosed last week. He has expressive language disorders meaning he can not always tell me how he feels, what on his mind, or something as awful as when another child hurt him. I spend alot of time researching topics we are going through and try to find books which we read, then talk about, and try to relate to. We have learned to draw out situations. Social skills are very difficult and using personal experiences from my own childhood broke the ice with him one day. I always try to think outside the box with my boys as a teacher I learned to teach in the box. We learned while playing checkers let the child turn the board at any time or as many times as they want. This teaches them to look at something through someone else’s perspective. I am really thinking this game maybe right down our alley for both boys!

    • Mela says:

      April – what a wonderful suggestion about turning the board – I hadn’t even thought of that. My husband & I try to remember that sometimes we have the “curse of knowledge,” meaning we just figure everyone, including our kids should understand how things are done or what steps need to be taken – just because we do. We very often need to step back and remember they are kids and are just starting to process those ideas.

  4. Suzi says:

    I LOVE your post and couldn’t agree more! I especially agree with your statement about all kids have special needs … Well said!

    We have found something wonderful for our 9 1/2 year old son who happens to be on the autism spectrum and the social world is difficult as it is to discuss much less becoming a “tween”. He loves to do activities and loves to use his imagination to write so this keepsake journal we found has been amazing. He couldn’t put it down! It’s called, “All About Me” by Linda Kranz. It’s wonderful and is not gender specific as some journals tend to be. What is fantastic about this journal is that it poses questions for the kids and they write or sometimes draw their answers. Some thought provoking like:
    “What is something special and different about you?”
    “What are your fears?”
    “Describe your saddest day”
    Some questions are fun like:
    “What movie could you watch again and again?”
    “Draw anything you want.”
    Some are enlightening like:
    “Write down 5-10 words to describe your parents and wait for 6 months and describe them again and see how your feelings change.”

    He was eager to share his answers this way and we could talk about the serious ones and be silly with some of the fun ones. Boy, I did learn some things from his perspective! This will be a treasured book to look back on!

    Thanks again Mela, for all your inspiration! ~Suzi

    • Mela says:

      Awesome, Suzi – great ideas! I’m all about journaling and drawing. I will use some of those questions with my three. I also would love to ask them to describe us … that could prove to be very enlightening. And, what a cherished memory to have!

  5. hi there!

    wow, what a great resource. i love it! we have three kids, too, and are currently living in thailand, where parenting resources are harder to come by. i have been driven to the internet for fresh inspiration, and have found real encouragement in the blogging world of late. i also homeschool and have loved charlotte mason’s free website:

    http://www.amblesideonline.org for tips/book suggestions.

    our biggest “get the kids talking” is dinner-time and breakfast time– candles, devotionals, “high-low” {where we go around and each person shares their high-moment and their low-moment of the day}. since we have to eat everyday, it’s a good connect time.

    thanks for the review. and don’t worry, if i happen to win, you can just mail it to my in-laws and save the shipping fee!

    thanks, from here,

    Laura Parker

    • Mela says:

      Laura – thanks so much for stopping over – I, too, have loved the inspiration and encouragement found in blogs – including yours! I am a subscriber & very much enjoy your humor, insight and the perspective you bring to ministry & family life. I will check out the Charlotte Mason site. Blessings!

  6. Karen says:

    My husband and I try to have individual dates with each of our three kids. Having one-on-one time with each kid allows us to give them our full attention and to hear their heart as they talk to us.

    • Mela says:

      That is a wonderful idea and something we haven’t done in a while. My husband used to do Daddy Saturdays with our daughter. Now, as a tween, she’s much harder to connect with, but I try to do Thursday evenings with her & he just took her & a friend roller skating, which was a BIG hit. I need to do some one-on-ones with my boys. It’s amazing how putting them into a different setting can make a huge difference. Thanks!

  7. Karen says:

    just posted on Facebook

  8. Charity Geddes says:

    My daughter is just learning to talk, but I think she’s going to be a real talker. :) I love resources like this and know that it will be so fun and useful in the years ahead!

    • Mela says:

      Oh, what a fun time for you! My daughter is now 11 and she was the same way! Those are some of my favorite memories – hearing those first little sentences put together – adorable! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Tracy says:

    Right when I started reading your review, I knew this was a game I need to add to our Christams list of family games to consider! I have many of the same books you have on your bookshelves!! To be perfectly honest, I think in trying to be the parent the Lord wants me to be, I tend to forget the simple things in going to my children to talk about themselves. Not saying we don’t talk, we do, but I think specifically talking about themselves gets overlooked at times! I have found that the resources I value the most are my Christian friends with the same morals and values as our family. I value their priceless advice! Great review, Mela! It’s put that game on the top of my list! :) Thanks! ! !

    • Mela says:

      I agree about Christian friends being great resources – absolutely! I spend a lot of time reading about parenting, when I probably just need to spend more time parenting – being with my kids will teach me a lot more about them than any book could. This game provided a way to be with them, include them in the process and invest in them by seeking out how God gifted them uniquely. Very fun!

  10. Nancy says:

    Love hearing how each one shared (acknowledged) their strengths and differences. This was a neat exercise. Why not bring the game to any family Christmas to share with other parents and their kids.

  11. Jan Schubert says:

    The greatest parenting resource I know of is praying in a Moms In Touch group. A mom from our grade school invited me to come when my oldest child was in kindergarten. 14 years later, it is still the one thing in my week that I never miss. God uses our Moms In Touch prayer hour to show me things about my kids and to direct my prayers for them. God uses the Scriptures we pray to develop their character and to draw them closer and closer to Him. God has also answered many specific prayers about everyday issues. The same Scriptures I have prayed for my kids have taken root in me and transformed my relationship with God, my husband, and my children. My Moms In Touch friends have been an incredible support. I can be completely honest, I never fear criticism, everything is kept confidential, and those women pray for my kids as if they were their own. I now pray with a college and career MITI group, and someday, I will be in Grandmas In Touch. Unlike most books and conferences, Moms In Touch is a parenting resource my family will never outgrow!

    • Mela says:

      I love Moms in Touch and am a member at my children’s school. I’m always so moved when I hear others praying for my children. When I can’t be there on a specific day, our leader emails me the scriptures we prayed and that way, I can still pray for my children and the school/teachers/principal. Moms in Touch is a wonderful blessing. Prayer is powerful! Thanks for coming by, Jan!

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