November 15th, 2019

Episode 7 -Ellie Dix

How you can use unplugged and offline activities to bring families together

This week’s episode is with Ellie Dix, educationalist and board game enthusiast. Ellie has just written a book called The Board Game Family, which is all about reclaiming families from the screen. Her family had always played board games and her father had a wonderful talent to be able to make things into a game. Her childhood was full of fun and she shares some of those ideas with us in this episode. Ellie’s mum had a background in maths and was a lecturer in education who got her students to make board games. She used the games to enthuse her students about maths.

 Listen to this episode with Ellie Dix if you want to learn:

 About how playing board games can become a loved family ritual (see our blog about rituals)

  • How to disrupt your thinking via the 5 home truths, one of which is the controversial idea that you can’t control your children’s screen time. What? No….! Listen in to find out what parents can do instead
  • Why board gaming is better for the child, and for the family, than video gaming and how parents can challenge the young person’s thinking about games
  • What ‘stealth tactics’ will assist parents to encourage children rather than coercing them
  • Why Monopoly should be thrown in the bin! (I couldn’t agree more with that –this game causes so many family arguments). Ellie goes through some of the principles that make a game conducive to family harmony
  • How to get started if you’re not already a board gaming family. Ellie has a just started a subscription service of her own called The Buzzle Box in which she sends out board games and game cards which describe games that can be played with cards and dice
  • About the ‘meta game’, the game that parents play called raising children with values and skills!
  • How to handle cheating (including when it’s the parent). Ellie’s emphasis is very much in line with The Parent Practice’s view that we shouldn’t reward outcomes but instead acknowledge effort and strategies and improvements. (See module one of our Positive Parenting Course and our online course –Descriptive Praise)


In our celebration of vulnerability and perfect imperfection Ellie bravely shares with us a Low Parenting Moment of her own from years ago that still makes her cringe. She shares beautifully the learning she got from that moment that allows her to repair when she has messed up and feel less guilty as a result.

 And Ellie also shares her top tip for raising children to be confident, happy and successful. 


elliedixtweets on twitter

Posted in: Family togetherness , Reducing Screentime




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