Heights couple releases parenting board game

The trend is undeniable: parents are becoming more proactive and seeking ways to improve their parenting skills. This can be seen in the growing number of parenting websites, parenting books, magazines, radio and TV reality shows (such as Nanny 911 and Supernanny). The book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, has currently sold over 13 million copies. Clearly parents are taking steps to be more conscious and consistent in how they raise their children.

The Greater Cleveland community, in particular, has demonstrated a desire to enrich the quality of parenting. The presence and success of organizations, such as the Heights Parent Center, W.O. Frohring Family Resource Center, Center for Families and Children, and programs, such as Strong Start for Cuyahoga’s families, reflect the community’s desire to improve parents' abilities.

In response to this movement, Cleveland Heights parents Juliette and Michael Reynolds founded Babysteps Limited. Babysteps recently released Parent Talk,™ the first and only board game to offer parents a fun way to address crucial parenting issues.

Unlike parenting books, this board game provides a more interactive way for adults to discuss how they will raise their children. Playing the game with other adults enables parents to leverage community and share parenting strategies, information, experience and insights. Parent Talk™ promotes conscious and consistent parenting through communication and community. The game facilitates discussion on key topics relating to a child’s physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development. The questions also encourage parents to discuss financial issues, sharing responsibilities and the changing dynamics of their relationship.

I played the game with seven of my friends, all of us unmarried and childless college students. Although we may not be the ideal demographic for this board game, we found that the game greatly changed our views and expectations on being parents. Playing the game made us all think about what we value and find important. Although none of us have kids or plan on being parents in the near future, we could not help but get into meaningful discussions. For some questions, we were each sure our individual answer was right and could not believe anyone would reply differently. "Who gets up with the baby in the middle of the night?" You may think your answer is right, but what does your partner think?

Marc Buenaventura is a senior management/marketing major at Case Western Reserve University. He has been interning for Babysteps Limited through the Summer on the Cuyahoga program, which unites students from Colgate, Cornell, CWRU, Yale, Princeton, Smith and Harvard, to live together and intern with Cleveland businesses. The goal is to prevent brain drain and bring talent to the Cleveland area.

For more information, visit www.ParentTalkGame.com, email ParentTalkGame@gmail.com, or call 320-0602.

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 3:00 PM, 07.29.2008