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Friday, June 24, 2016

Dark Arts of Dice! (Parenting 102)

What's going on everyone?! I just wanted to take time out of the day to make a quick post of something that had just happen at "Blackburn Castle". :)

Last night, like most nights, my beautiful daughter asked to get on her computer after we played a board game. I told her the same thing I usually do which is that she can set her timer on her TV for 9pm and when it shuts off she has to get off her computer.

Most every night this works out just fine and she's off of there at 9pm, gets ready for bed and then lays down and watches netflix from 10 - 11pm being that it's summer time. Last night however, I was out on my front porch most of the evening just taking it slow and doing "reviewer stuff" as she puts it.

She did NOT get off of there at 9pm when the timer went off but instead turned it back on to finish what she was doing. Now, I have to admit, this wouldn't be a problem IF it was something important like learning or researching something of her own interest. It wasn't though, she was just playing a game so there was no valid point in my mind to allow her to get away with this.

I didn't say anything though, I wanted to see how long she would push my leniency or as far as she was concerned, my "obliviousness" to the time. This lasted for over an hour AFTER the required time to shut it off. When she did finally shut it off, I acted like I was none the wiser for a bit, then I brought it up to her.

I told her that she would be grounded for the next day FROM her computer for as long as she was late getting off of it x2. In this case, it would be roughly 2 hours. Since she usually doesn't play on it too much this can be a big deal to her. I like to make sure she takes a break and either spends time with my lovely wife, or me or even just away from electronics in general during her break.

Which leads us to today. She had completed her chores as required and when she finished them she asked if she could get on her computer. Now, you and I BOTH know that as a kid, you never forget when you're grounded, you simply act like you forgot. So with her playing the "forget card". I went along with it.

We have a d60 which I refer to as "The Mighty Golf Ball" that sits readily available for determining the first player in most games we play. So I looked over at it and said "OH MIGHTY GOLF BALL, IS TRINITY WORTHY OF ANY COMPUTER TIME TODAY?". That's when she had a look of "Oh crap" on her

So I told her to pick a number between 1 and 60. She picked 43.

Then I told her if the die landed on any number 5 higher or lower from what she picked that she could get on her computer.

She agreed...

So as we're walking to the kitchen to roll the die across the floor just to keep the tension high I mentioned to her that if it DIDN'T land on a number in her favor I didn't want to hear any complaining and she needed to accept her fate that was chosen by the Mighty Golf Ball.

She agreed...

We make our way to the kitchen floor (a whole 10 feet from where we were because we have a small house) and she is a nervous wreck, you could tell. She was keeping her calm about it though and playing it cool so I went ahead and rolled the Mighty Golf Ball...

As it was rolling around our uneven floor like a possessed object, I had time to mention to her that IF it stopped up against a wall or another object that it would be re-rolled as I wanted it to be completely random and have no interference.

She agreed...

So as we're following the Mighty Golf Ball around the floor (which was quite humorous as I've not seen it act like this before) it slowly starts to settle.. a deep breath is taken by my beautiful and stressed out daughter as well as myself because lets face it, I was curious to see what fate would

Lowe and behold, it landed on 42... -_-

 Seeing as I'm a fair sport I told her to go ahead and get on her computer. She then asked me "For how long?". I was CERTAIN she screwed up here! I quickly said "There are 60 sides on the Mighty Golf Ball so lets roll and see. Each number is 1 minute and you get two rolls but can only top out at 60 minutes total."

Feeling what must have been and overwhelming confidence, She agreed...

I roll the Mighty Golf Ball across the floor for the first roll and it takes time to settle.


So that's 41 minutes she gets on her computer now. She also has one more roll to add to it(up to 60 total minutes).

I roll again...


 So she had gotten 50 minutes total to play on her computer!

There you have it folks, Fate was on her side today!

Now, I would like to point out that I have no problem disciplining my child however is fit for the moment or action at hand. I'm a firm believer that the punishment should match the offense. Because of this, I thought that rolling the die and letting her choose the number in the beginning would be more of a punishment than me acting on it.

The reason being, we all have choices that we've regretted at one time or another. This was one of those times for her. She clearly regretted not getting off at the right time as was told. So in response to this, she was able to make another choice and determine if she would regret it as well.

I'm glad that she took the option to roll the die. I mean, what did she really have to lose? If she had NOT taken the option to roll for her fate, then she would have always wondered what may have been.

This is an important lesson we can all take to heart. Just because we THINK we're done for doesn't mean we have to sit down and take it if there is a viable and honest alternative at hand.

Well, that's it for this "short" rambling I wanted to share with you.

As always, thank you for reading and don't forget to stop and smell the meeples! :)


  1. Wow. Why didn't I think of that when my kids were still living with us. Probably because I was not playing boardgames then as I do now. I like your thinking, Tim.