Being a wargamer parent is hard. You’re pulled in different directions at the same time. Try these five tips to be a successful wargamer dad (or mom).
5 Tips to be a Successful Wargamer Dad
- Put your child first
- Get creative
- Planning is key
- Communication is vital
- Technology is your friend
1) Put Your Child First
Feels like common sense doesn’t it? But, it may not always feel as simple as that. Picture this. You’re heading out the door to game with your friends in 30 minutes. Your kid starts to have a meltdown. Do you meet your commitment to your buddies? Of course not! You need to put that aside and tend to your little one. In that moment you may feel stressed out and may even regret being unable to game. Don’t worry. The feeling will pass and in time you’ll be delighted you hung out with little one.
2) Get Creative
May not be able to do things the way you always did. If you’re used to painting for an hour each night that might have to go the way of the dodo. No need to despair because you can approach it a different way. Break the hobby into smaller chunks. Paint while your child is napping, assemble models when they’re at school, game during your lunch break. Switch from playing large scale games to skirmish or even solo games. Try board games or electronic gaming.
3) Planning is Key
Now that you have a kid you can’t run out to game at the spur of a moment. If your buddy texts you when you’re leaving work asking you to game that night the answer probably has to be no. In the past it was ok but things change. You may have to pick up your kid from daycare, from sports, clubs, a friend’s house. This is NOT the death of your gaming.
With sufficient planning the odds increase for you to successfully game. A calendar will become your best friend. I use iCal and Google Calendar to coordinate my life. You may prefer a different option. Whatever you use it should be accessible wherever you are and it needs to be easy for you to use. Use the calendar to help you coordinate with your significant other so you can find the time to paint models, build terrain, and game with friends.
4) Communication is Vital
Even if you’re a single parent you are not in this alone. There’s family, friends, and child caregivers in your life. So, don’t act like a lone wolf thinking you can do it all without talking with other people.
When you communicate with your significant other try asking instead of telling. People don’t respond well to being told anything. However, they’ll buy into it if you say “How do you feel about me going out Saturday afternoon to game with the guys? I’ll be gone a couple hours.” When you ask for the other person’s input the odds increase for you to successfully game.
Don’t be afraid to compromise either. If you really want to shut yourself away for a few hours to paint why not work out a deal with your spouse. Offer to take care of the little one in the morning (get them dressed, feed them, change their diaper, take them to school, etc) if your better half watches them for the afternoon. You may really want to disappear for the entire evening but you can agree on a few hours instead.
5) Technology is Your Friend
Tech can be the tool that gives you the single best chance of gaming after you have a kid. Free services like Doodle make it possible to quickly and easily schedule times to game with your buddies. Mobile devices allow you to watch gaming videos, listen to gaming podcasts, and read product reviews no matter where you are.
You can stay engaged through internet message boards, social media, and even e-mail. A lot of this can be done while you’re in the bathroom, walking to the car, or watching your kid play hockey. In fact I wouldn’t be able to do any of the gaming I currently do without available technology.
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