My 5-Year-Old Plays Chess and He Taught me How to Play in So Many Ways

Before I begin, let me state that I am about to brag.  I have a five-year-old who plays chess.  His grandfather taught him the game almost 6 months ago and Massimo in turn taught me how to play.


During the lessons where he was the teacher and I was the student, I realized just how patient my son is.  Instead of getting frustrated at me for confusing pieces, like the bishop and rook, he good-naturedly explained how to play the game again.  When I made the wrong moves he did not yell at me, he simply said, “Don’t worry, it’s easy.  Try again.”

It made me reflect on how sometimes when I am trying to show my kids how to do tasks, I can sometimes lose my patience and get frustrated.  My body stiffens and I easily give up and brush my child away.


When Massimo was teaching me, a middle-aged adult, how to play Chess he was always calm and made the game fun.  His enthusiasm and kindness made me want to learn the game.


Massimo’s favorite Chess set in Assisi, Italy

Now, when I am teaching my kids something and I start to get impatient, I try to remember my chess lessons with Massimo.  I remember his gentleness when I was not catching on as quickly as I would like.  By my son’s example, he has made me try to be a better person, teacher and parent.

Some parents dream of their kids being star athletes.  I know that my son is coordinated and sporty, but I dream of him being a “chess-athlete”. 

Am I condemning him into a road of “nerdiness” or geek cool?

What ever the case chess holds a special place in our family.

Thank you for letting me share and have a great day!


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