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Talking To My Teenage Daughter: A Game of Cards Does it Every Time

“What the heck!!??” says my 16-year-old daughter. “Why can’t I get a frigging 5!!??” These are fairly regular comments when we play “double deck” together.

Lately, we’ve started playing this silly card game that I used to play as a teenager.

A Great New Routine

It’s a simple game that keeps us locked in battle for 45 minutes or so, longer if I’m lucky enough to get a second round. The game seems to be turning into a fairly common Saturday afternoon routine for us.

As we play cards, we spend the time teasing each other and trash talking. But often we talk about other things as well. I’m fairly competitive and play all games to win, but I also enjoy hearing about which friend said what to whom. (Yeah, ok…I still try to win).

A Time to Connect

More importantly, though, other things sneak into the conversation as well.  A simple game of cards leads to talking with my daughter.

I get this amazing opportunity to hear about what she likes to do, what interests her in life, and what worries her about applying to college. She sometimes tells me why a certain social situation makes her nervous. And occasionally, I even hear about what someone said that made her feel sad or uncomfortable.

Sometimes we talk about politics. Sometimes my daughter will ask about what I do at work. Occasionally (okay, rarely), we even talk about what things were like when I was her age.

Those 45 minutes give me a chance to learn about her as she turns into an adult. The insight is incredible. The interactions are priceless.

Oh, I forgot to mention that when I used to play that game as a teenager… it was with my mother.

I just thought we were playing cards. In retrospect, it seems that my mother was pretty smart.

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I hope that my daughter has the opportunity to spend many years playing double deck with her kids as well.

Dr. Dan Borison, a writer and dad of five, is a doctor in his free time.

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