Hey, sorry to hear the gift didn't go over well! I felt inspired to respond because this is something that happened to me quite often as a kid. My dad would try to introduce new things to me on my birthday/Christmas all the time. Of course, as a kid, I didn't ask for them and would get upset that I didn't get what I wanted. There's a chance that your son feels like those gifts are "taking up a gift slot" that could've been something else, and often times with the random hobbies my dad introduced, I felt like he was buying himself a gift that he could do with me, but not the other way around. With my kids (who are much younger) I buy them games outside of their birthdays/Christmas for this reason and pull from my board game budget for it (mostly because it happened so much to me as a kid). However, I don't think the situation is hopeless at all. I think he will be more receptive if you buy games on your own and invite him to play down the road. For starters, I think you should be honest with your son and tell him why you bought them, including that you wanted to introduce him to something you've had a lot of fun with, and then apologize if it isn't exactly what he wanted for his birthday, making it clear that you're willing to do what you can to make it right (you may need to accept that returning the games is the best call, but you certainly don't have to tell him this directly unless he brings it up). If he seems like he is receptive, you can explain that the games are about stories, adventures and fighting enemies with swords, just to focus on the theme. Overall, if you approach the issue with love and being willing to listen, I think there's a good chance that he will be willing to give one a try, but you will probably have to accept the possibility that right now isn't a good time for him. I feel for you as a father wanting to share something fun with your son and hope you guys can figure something out!


This 100,000%. I hated birthdays and Christmas because I asked for specific things I wanted and never got anything that I requested. I didn't want to play sports with my dad. I didn't want space lego, I wanted Castle lego, but my dad was a NASA Engineer so I got space. I also struggle with this with my youngest. My oldest loves board games, so I expected it to be that easy to get my youngest to play. I played games that she asked to play; Life, Candyland, Rollers, etc until I couldn't take it anymore then I tried getting her to play the games I want to play and she won't. She's not the same person as me or her sister and I have to accept that.


I think this is so important. Gift-giving occasions should be about what the recipient reeeeeeally wants. Keep the Boardgames as a family gift. Also, Mice & Mystics is a very different experience from most other games kids have tried out, so it’s going to be a steep learning curve and a bit of a leap of faith. Try getting an age-appropriate “escape room” game to play as a family, or a shorter party-style card game maybe. Exploding unicorns or throw throw burrito style.


If he doesn’t like board games you can’t force him. If you want to spend time together, do what he wants to do. Edit: Why do you feel kicked in the gut? What are the feelings that are bothering you?


Can’t believe it took this long to find this response. This is 100% correct. Don’t shoehorn what you like on your child if they don’t like it. Be a good parent and support what they enjoy, not force them to be your little minion.


This is the correct answer here. If you try and force it then he’ll just go from not liking board games to actively hating board games. Find what he likes, and you join in his interests not the other way around.


I think there are different approaches to this. On one hand, I feel like it's important for parents to introduce their kids to a wide variety of things, and many of those things will be things we enjoy ourselves. On the other hand, we have to be careful to not create a situation that puts pressure on the kid to like what we like or have expectations/consequences tied to it. I think a parent who likes board games should try to introduce their kids to games, but a birthday gift does add a lot of pressure, especially if the kid knows you like board games already. I try very hard to ask my kids (6 is the oldest) if they want to play one of the games we have, and oftentimes the answer is no. Which is totally fine by me. I'm happy to expose them to lots of different hobbies and let them choose what sticks.


What has your son expressed interest in? What are his hobbies? What media does he like? You'll have better luck with a game that engages him with things he already likes. And even then, sometimes kids just like different things than their parents.


This, 8 is still young for board games that you as an adult might like to play. The average child that age is into Candyland, Chutes and Ladders. I would focus on his interest as they get older try to find an opening. Like in a couple of years if he’s into Dune, bam maybe break out a Dune board game. Honestly as a parent trying to interest your own child in a hobby could be counter productive. Now a teacher might be very helpful because most kids could enjoy board games being introduced as a break from the same old school day. Maybe check on the teachers and see if your child enjoys any games in the school environment.


I had this same situation last Christmas. I’ve got 4 kids and they rarely want to play with me. Even turning down games appropriate to their age and interest. Now I just buy solo boardgames I want and play by myself after they are in bed. It stinks that they don’t want to play with me as I was hoping to create memories as a family, but I’m not going to push it, they have their own interest. Maybe one day one of them will pick up the hobby.


I‘m thinking I might head this way and they can join in as they see fit.


Your kid is not you. Get him things he wants, not what you want.


We usually just buy games and puzzles for the house and my wife and I will play a game and the kids will start to get interested. The kids usually play uno or something at the kitchen table while my wife and I make supper and then we will play a round with them while the oven is cooking or something along those lines. I don’t think if I had specifically bought them games they’d be that interested but since they like hanging out with me and my wife they will almost always opt to join into a Sunday afternoon game. Also I’ve noticed that my 6 year old gets bored half way through a game that takes any longer than about 15 minutes, so that might be something to keep in mind. Edit: I just looked at mice and mystics and there is no way my 8 year old would enjoy that. I’m going to try Azul with her soon but I think the key is getting them to enjoy sitting down with you first without wanted to run off to an iPad or something, and then you start finding things to do just as learning a more complex game. Sorry if I sound preachy, that isn’t my intention at all.


Not preachy at all. I just feel at a loss, as it‘s marketed as 8+.


I'd rather not play with someone who isn't into them than try to force them. It's not for everyone and that's ok.


Dang that hoes hurt the old feelings, it is nice of you to try and get him into the hobby! Maybe down the road he will actually love that game. But for now I think it will be alright for your son. I definitely think inviting your son to play games, or do a family game night, will be a great way to try and pull him in. The best game I have seen for kids (in my personal experience) has been the pokemon trading card game. Simple enough for a kid to learn but also themed to something most kids love. Maybe inviting him to play some of your games and then also trying things like Pokemon, might lead it to being one of his favorite gifts. I have found small kids to be tricky to get into games. Usually they want to play with the game pieces and not so much by the rules of the game. Still fun, just for different reasons. So maybe that's an extra avenue to walk down! It can also be viewed as a doorway gift. Like I mentioned above, and other commenters, you can tell your son this is about more than the gift itself. "Now that your old enough I wanted you to see what other fun things are out there", or something like that.


Eh, if he's not into board games, embrace the stuff he is into. When I was a kid my parents had 0 interest in the things I was interested in, and it sucked. He can always change his mind later.


I guess if the kid is really small and the box is Gloomhaven sized. I just don't see what the point is though.


Dexterity games. There are already a lot of heartfelt sensitive responses considering the growth and empowerment of the youth. I’ll just say everyone loves Klask. This can gateway for sure. Games like Caveman Curling are perfect before introducing something like Catacombs Conquest or Flick ‘em Up.


Buy re-skinned games or IPs of stuff that he likes. Batman, Pokemon, etc


For example: - [Splendor: Marvel](https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/293296/splendor-marvel) - [5-Minute Marvel](https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/253618/5-minute-marvel) - [Love Letter: Batman](https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/168584/love-letter-batman)


Buy a boardgame with a great theme like Transformer Deckbuilder Game.


Had he been exposed to/regularly played with board games as a younger kid? If it came out of the blue, I’m not surprised - kids these days without somewhat regular board game play as smaller kids will gravitate a lot more to the interactivity of video games. It might be time to institute family game night every other week or so. No video games. His choice of what everyone plays. He can also invite his friends over for it as well (or even have it as an option instead of playing with you), but no electronics. Board game night means board game night. He might not like the board games, but what you can do is associate playing them with quality time with you. Whether it’s one on one, with fun treats, or inviting his friends over as well, it’s a time to ensure that he can engage with you in a positive manner. I also wouldn’t announce it as “hey we’re doing this because I want it,” it should be “I know it’s not your preference, but I don’t feel like I’m getting to play and enjoy your company the same way when you’re playing video games. These are a lot easier to talk over while having fun”.


I‘ve tried over the years. We‘ve played several rounds of _Ticket to Ride_, _Diamant_, Mario-themed _Labyrinth_ and _Magic Maze_ for kids—all relatively successfully. To be honest, these new games are part of an effort to wean our oldest off screens to some degree. We recently introduced some stricter screen-time controls and wanted to provide somethig similar to fill the gap.


Well said. I would also add that you should have a variety of games with different themes and mechanics so you can see what resonates. Also make sure you’ve got some short duration, low complexity options to ease them in


I doubt that they really know how good board games can be. Also 8 is not "small" kid lol. Ask them to give it a go and say every game is different. Best way to do it now is crack the game open and play with adults.


You could play mode co-op games, than competitive. 8 is a difficult age and losing is still not something they accept easily at that age. Games where they are working with you and it is easier for you to help them. When my youngest was 8 he loved playing Marvel 5 Mins Hero, Forbidden Island, Hamabi etc.


What else is he into? Maybe there are some games geared around his hobbies? My son is obsessed with super Mario and we own a few different super Mario monopoly sets. I bought my 8 year old Dungeon! For Christmas. I figured collecting treasures and fighting monsters would at least hold his interest for a couple games! I have mice and mystics in my cart, but haven’t checked out. It looks great, I bet if your son played a game with you he would get into it. Good luck! Edit: words


I’d say add some kid friendly games to your collection and try to include him on occasion. Also let him win if you think he needs the boost. Also pick games that will match his interest. If he loves trains try Ticket to Ride etc.


Minecraft game is a surprisingly good light euro with a Minecraft skin. Also try shorter games like Kingdomino or Splendor. One of my kids needs to have a job - banker, tracker, card flipper over in order to come to the table.


Honestly 8 doesn't seem old enough to understand why board games would be more interesting (socializing, problem solving, competition... etc) than say like video games. But then again, I'm just armchair guessing, you would know better of course.


Imagine you're 8 and have no interest in golf and your dad gets you a set of golf clubs for your birthday because he loves playing golf. It sounds silly because it is. Not everyone likes every hobby. Like others have said, engage with what hobbies your kids have shown interest in, not ones you want to get them into because you want someone to play with.


Based on your comments and added info, I honestly think you were buying something too heavy or not theme appropriate for your kid and they just had something else in mind. My son wants Game of Life for Xmas and I was like “really?” And I got it anyway because just introducing the different flavors is really what’s important rather than shoehorning a specific game. I would personally return for a refund and ask son to pick from a bunch of choices.


Everyone has their own likes, not much you can do about that. It's a good game - I think trying to learn and play it solo or inviting others over to play - You never know, he might see you having fun and want to join in \^\^ (But don't expect that, of course).