MATERIAL GIRL: Jodie Bruton on a rewriting the rule book for Beat The Parents

RUNNING out of steam for my spring clean I found myself somewhere I rarely go – the shopping centre.

I’d told my youngest daughter to choose a board game that we’d all enjoy and I might win.

A decisive shopper, she’d plucked Beat The Parents off the Kmart shelves within seconds.

The Crown and Andrews board game challenges mums and dads to answer questions about kids' stuff and children to figure out the mysterious and fun world of grown-ups.

Unfortunately, the American-themed trivia proved frustrating for the under-10s and for the North American geography-impaired over-40s.

Our 10-year-old also took issue with Neil Armstrong’s historic quote: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

“What is mankind!?” she says, “Does he mean humankind?”

“Exactly, sister,” I say, “But it was the sixties.”

While I appreciated the concept of the game, I’m confident it could be improved with some more relevant questions.

Ask the kids.

The dishwasher is in the kitchen. 

True or false

Ask the parents.

What does FOMO mean?

It’s a laundry detergent with a stray F (stray Fs are a common feature in many Australian laundries like ours) or it stands for Fear of Missing Out – the biggest social media dilemma of our time.

Ask the kids.

What time do you need to go to bed so Mum and Dad can resume binge-watching ABC TV series Glitch 2?​

A. 8pm B. 9pm C. Midnight as Mum and Dad will regret sitting through the paranormal series yet again.

Ask the parents.

What is a mooshroom?

A Minecraft cow with mushrooms on its back and if you milk it with a bowl you get stew. (Seriously, it’s a thing. I’ve seen the graphics in real life – virtually. Our youngest is mad on Minecraft cows.)

Beat The Parents has decks of wild cards relevant to parents and kids, which also could do with some tweaking.

A kids’ wild card in Sunday night’s match stated: You made Mum and Dad breakfast in bed for their wedding anniversary. Move forward two spaces.

“Quick, write that down,” our youngest instructs her older sibling.

“Well, we’re not actually doing it!” the eldest says, “It’s just in the game.”

“No,” says the youngest, “It’s something we have to do. Write it down.”

“Well, why does this wild card say? You run through the house and break your mum’s favourite vase. Move back one space. You still think we should do it?”

How handy it would be to have a packet of wild cards on deck at your disposal though.

Kids’ Wild Card

Your bathroom basin is overflowing with the slime-making stuff from your crafternoon several crafternoons ago. Move forward 20 paces post-haste to the bathroom and clean it up without making a fuss.

Parents’ Wild Card

You have made a delicious dinner. Move forward 25 paces to the bathroom and soak in the tub. Mind the basin though, it’s full of slime-making stuff like Borax.

For the record, with a decent number of hints, the kids trumped the parents.

School’s back and the parents are already beat – officially!