I’ve always wanted to find new ways to spend time with my daughter, and while playing chess one day, I pitched the idea to her, and she agreed. So every week on Fridays, we would play chess together, and I would teach her different strategies, and over time she would get better. Then, every month we would have a mini competition where we focused entirely and, as she called it, went into serious mode.
I taught my daughter how to play chess for various reasons, the main one being to spend more time with her while teaching her new skills along the way. And I chose chess for its wide range of benefits. For example, it teaches problem-solving, improves memory, planning and strategy, and many more.
Teaching my daughter how to play chess is extremely rewarding, not only for her but for me as well. I encourage other parents to do this by teaching their kids chess or other activities they are good at.
These are the 17 reasons why I taught my daughter how to play chess:
1. Chess Has Many Benefits
I wanted to teach my daughter how to play chess because of the chance we could have to bond and allow me to spend more time with my daughter. Moreover, playing the game has many cognitive, social, and self-esteem benefits. All of these skills improve from playing chess.
2. Chess Helped With Her Problem-Solving
Chess requires its players to know how to solve problems and solve them quickly and efficiently. Therefore, when I taught my daughter how to play it, I kept this in mind and constantly gave her puzzles using the chess board, which she had to solve in as few moves as possible.
These puzzles alternated between finding ways to check her opposing color and defending her king from checkmates. This helped her to choose better actions more efficiently, saving more time on the chess clock.
3. Chess Helped With Concentration Problems
Playing chess requires a lot of sustained concentration. You need to focus on many different pieces while thinking of all the different moves they can make. So I like to distract her by playing music, singing, and doing anything I can to throw her off her game while still focusing on my own(I have a lot of fun with this one).
4. Chess Improves Memory
Studies have proven that playing chess improves your cognitive, memory, and even math skills. Therefore, every month my daughter and I will have a chess mini-competition where we will fully take notes of every move during the game. During these competitions, I don’t help her whatsoever, and I don’t explicitly teach her any new skills.
5. Chess Taught My Daughter Planning And Strategy
Chess requires planning and thinking ahead, as you need to anticipate your next move and your opponent’s next move. Therefore, it improved my daughter’s ability to strategize and plan ahead of time and focus less on reacting to situations and more on forcing conditions to benefit her.
6. Chess Increases Spatial Awareness
Understanding the potential moves of each piece on the chessboard is crucial. As a result, you should evaluate whether or not your pieces are threatened and whether or not their relocation would put them at risk. It has helped my daughter become more aware of her surroundings, both in and out of the chess world.
7. Chess Helps With Self-Image And Builds Self-Esteem
Chess is an excellent way to improve one’s confidence, as it can be nerve-wracking as a couple of wrong moves could potentially result in a loss of essential pieces or the loss of the game entirely. Therefore the better you become at the game, the more likely you are to make fewer mistakes, which gives you the confidence to make moves faster and more precisely.
At first, my daughter was very hesitant to move any of her essential pieces and never sacrificed any of them for a more excellent and impactful move. However, now that she gained more confidence in her chess abilities. She takes the opportunity when they present themself; she will take any chance if it means she will win or make more significant, better moves.
8. Chess Requires A Lot Of Patience
However, on the flip side, my daughter can sometimes become overconfident, make moves hastily, and sometimes make wrong moves. This is perfect because it allows me to teach her to be more patient and to find the balance between being confident but not cocky either.
9. Chess Requires Persistence
Persistence is vital when it comes to becoming better at any skill, and chess is no different. Therefore I make sure to play with her and teach her new skills every week whenever possible.
10. Playing Chess Helped With My Daughter’s Social Skills
Chess is a social game by nature, and although it can be played alone, you won’t be able to thoroughly test your ability by playing alone. Therefore I made sure that she had plenty of opportunities to play with others, which allowed her to connect and make a couple of friends.
11. Chess Encourages Good Sportsmanship
Chess is a sport; at the end of a game, it is essential to show courtesy and be respectful whether you win or lose. Therefore, it was important to teach my daughter sportsmanship as it shows that she respects her opponent and herself.
12. Playing Chess Helped Me Bond With My Daughter
Playing chess with my daughter allowed me to spend quality time with my daughter; as a result, I learned much more about her, gained much more insight into her life, and grew closer to her.
13. Chess Is A Personalized Learning Experience
Teaching my daughter allowed me to personalize her learning more by focusing on what she needed to improve, which helped her grow faster than she would otherwise.
14. I Had The Flexibility To Pick A Time To Teach Chess
One of the advantages of educating my daughter on my own is that I may shift our lessons to different days of the week or even miss a week if necessary. For instance, I usually find time to teach since my daughter gets out of school early on Fridays. However, when she is busy with exams, I will typically reschedule it until she is finished with her examinations.
15. Chess Helped Me Communicate Better With My Daughter
Communicating with my daughter has never been easier as we both have something to start a conversation about, which is chess. During casual games, we will often discuss random topics, and the experience is just incredible.
16. Teaching My Daughter New Chess Skills Is Low Cost
An added bonus of teaching her chess myself is that there is no additional cost apart from the initial board purchase. The only cost of teaching my daughter how to play is some of my own time, which I am more than happy to spend. She learns a new skill cost-free while I spend time with her, which sounds like a good deal to me. There are also many resources to help with chess education.
17. We Have Fun While Playing Chess
The most important thing to me was ensuring my daughter had fun playing chess. It didn’t feel like learning or education. Instead, it was an enjoyable and engaging activity she looked forward to. From my understanding, she does enjoy it, and often times ill ask her if she is ready and find that the chessboard is already set up and ready for play.
Teaching my daughter how to play chess was and still is one of the best decisions I made, as I got to spend much-needed time with her and help her improve several different skills. It is a fun and engaging activity one can play with anyone, with many benefits that come with it.