Friday, April 7, 2017

Can Chess Help Kids Make Better Decisions in Life?

Teaching kids how to make better decisions in life is a goal of every parent. Yet it often seems to be one of the hardest skills to teach. 

Giving kids safe risks combined with the right type of guidance is a delicate balance. It requires setting up the right circumstances. 

When parents discuss finding ways to encourage better decision-making in their children, the game of chess often comes up. 

This is because playing chess promotes the development of these skills by addressing the following areas that impact the choices a kid makes in life.

Develop the Mindset That Luck is Not Everything

Kids are naturally drawn to magical thinking. Parents often hear them exclaim how someone was “lucky” when they pulled off a major achievement. 

While there is an element of luck in many games, chess is not among them. Playing chess demands strategic thinking to place oneself in a position of advantage. As your son or daughter learns to play chess, they also gain an appreciation of the potential to control their own destiny through common sense. Working with their coach and other chess players also lets kids discover that strategic thinking is something that is learned. It is not just something that lucky people are born with in life.

Learn to Identify Positive Choices

Chess lessons often focus on helping kids recognize which strategies will help to improve their positions. True even when they are faced with two undesirable or equal moves. This concept can also be applied to life. 

Kids learn how to weigh their options when faced with two choices that carry the same weight. For example, a child may wish to attend their friend’s birthday party that happens at the same time as their sports practice. Both options may appear equal on the surface. Applying what they have learned in chess encourages your child to consider which choice will take them closer to reaching their goals.

Hone Critical Analytical Skills

Critical thinking requires kids to take what they have seen work in the past and combine it with present circumstances to determine probable outcomes. Chess lessons at summer camp give them a chance to observe the time-tested strategies used by both professional and beginner players. 

Then, they get to test out their theories on new strategies they think will work. Since there is always another chance to play a new game, kids are more willing to take risks that strengthen their deductive reasoning. When faced with tough decisions outside of the chess arena, they can apply these same analytical skills with greater confidence that they are making the right decisions.

Learning to play chess changes kids. Parents find that attending lessons pays off in more than just academic benefits. From strengthening their self-confidence to teaching them how to effectively analyze a situation, chess lessons address all the areas a kid needs to be able to make better life decisions.  

To maximize this effect, as your son or daughter makes choices that affect his or her life, simply stay involved in their lessons. Help them find ways to implement the skills they are learning.

Let your kids enjoy chess games at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at  to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.


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