The Parent as Dungeon Master: Our RPG Parenting Experiment

RPG Character Sheet

Lydia the Dwarf Wizard, our 9-year-old daughter’s “real life RPG” character

Maybe I’m the only parent who has this problem, but our children hate doing chores. And they sometimes fight with each other. And each of them has several bad habits that we want them to stop. Stop me if this sounds familiar.

Last Christmas, my wife Elizabeth gave me this awesome book called Geek Dad by Ken Denmead. Based on his blog of the same name, the book offers (as the subtitle says) “awesomely geeky projects and activities for dads and kids to share.” A few examples:

  • LED fireflies
  • High-altitude video cameras
  • Eletronic origami

One of the chapters — “Parenting and Role Playing Games” — describes a Dungeons & Dragons-like system for getting kids to help out around the house and reward them for their successes. I mentioned it the other day to Elizabeth as something that might be fun to try, not really intending to put it place anytime soon. Our older daughter, however, overheard me and immediately fell in love with the idea. She could not stop talking about the idea of becoming a Dwarf Wizard, and she asked me several times a day when we start the game. So, on Friday during the kids’ snow day, we officially launched the Hickerson RPG. Continue reading