The Mom Project: Have a Game Night

The Mom Project: Have a Game Night

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

The Project

My husband and I have four boys. One of our two sons still living at home has autism and is mentally handicapped. It is difficult to find time to consistently connect with the boys in a fun and meaningful way, especially since we have various therapists coming into our home a few evenings a week. The days seem to blur into weeks, and before I know it, I haven’t really connected with either one. I go to bed thinking the next day will be different, but somehow, something always comes up. Unless I am intentional about connecting with them, it won’t happen. I wanted to share with you a simple, yet profound, book I’ve been reading called The Mom Project. This book shares lots of different ways for me as their mom to connect with them and to make some fun memories along the way. I chronicled one of my favorite projects from the book here today. For our project, we chose to have a game night.

The Plan

All three of us chose to play Monopoly. At first I was a little nervous about how this was going to unfold. I didn’t know if my special needs son would totally understand how to play, but I wanted to try. I wanted to make it fun for all of us and to make memories that would last and even make us want to play again really soon. However, I needed to be open minded about how we were going to actually play the game within our limits.


Having a 15-year-old special needs son and a 9-year-old typical child created a unique challenge in connecting with them in this way. I found that adaptability was key. I had to get over my need to play by the rules and to be flexible enough to make up some rules as we went. I somewhat tailored the game to each boy, and they were both on board and engaged. I randomly handed out Monopoly real estate cards, and of course, whoever landed on the property had to pay rent, an easy amount for each of them to remember.

Both boys thoroughly enjoyed seeing Mom suffer as she had to go to jail and couldn’t be set free until she rolled doubles. Lots of laughter and lots of talking. We just made it a fun evening all around by having dessert before dinner, and dinner was pizza from one of their favorite restaurants. The more I got excited about the evening, the more they got excited.

I’m sure we’ll be playing again soon. I’d say Monopoly money was worth more than anything I could ever buy them.

What I Learned

Throughout this project, I learned to let go of my preconceived ideas of how the night should go. I invited them to participate in making up some rules with me, and I also realized they responded in kind to my excitement. I let the anticipation of game night build in their minds a few days beforehand, and I even taunted them with a little friendly competition. They are boys after all.

Extra Tips

If you are going to play a game with your children who are different ages or at different stages in their development, take a little time to plan ahead. Give them an opportunity to have some input in how they would like to play the game (within reason, of course), and watch their faces light up as they engage in the game they’ve helped create. A couple days before you play the game, start building up the excitement whenever and however you can.

Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.


Julie and her husband have four boys, and she adores the title “Boy Mom.” She is also a special needs mom, helping navigate the world for her 15-year-old son with autism. Her four boys keep life busy and loud. Most days she wouldn’t want it any other way. You can connect with Julie on her blog at Stuff of Heaven.


Episode #298 When Faith and Parenting are Hard at the Same Time

Episode #298 When Faith and Parenting are Hard at the Same Time

When a member of your family is disgnosed with special needs, it can be a shock.  It is not what you expected for your life, and you can feel cheated of the life you imagined.

Diane Dokko Kim knows this feeling all too well.  Shortly after her family committed to full time ministry, they recieved a crushing diagnosis for one of their children.  Diane stuffed her feelings for years, but has now seen that although God has not chosen to heal her son, He has chosen to heal her.

Join us as Kathi and Diane chat about how friends can come alongside special needs families in very practical ways like being honest in your struggle to have the desire to help, but not knowing how.  They discuss how friends can ask for grace and to be taught how to help and serve, and how the church can also follow the biblical mandate to serve special needs families as well.

Resources Mentioned

Unbroken Faith

Help Wish List


For your chance to win one of 3 copies of Unbroken Faith, tell us how has someone shown up for you as a special needs familyr or  something you have done to support a special needs family.


*Available to US residents only


Meet Our Guest

Diane Dokko Kim

Diane Dokko Kim

Diane has served over 25 years in bi-vocational church ministry. In 2004, her first son was diagnosed with autism at age two and ADHD, which triggered profound personal, professional and spiritual crises.

In 2008, she began serving the disabled community as a special needs ministry consultant, equipping churches to become fully-inclusive faith communities, leading parent support groups, and speaking at churches and conferences. She is honored to partner with the ministries of Joni and Friends as a national speaker and ministry ambassador.

In 2012, Diane launched an online ministry, with a passion is to comfort others with the comfort she received from Christ (2 Corinthians 1:4). Her writing has been featured in Orange’s Parent Cue, Parenting Magazine, Dandelion
, and She strives to empower weary parents to experience the timeless relevance of God’s Word applied to the gritty realities of special needs family life, and to view their journey as a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and discipleship.

Whether by diagnosis, a death—or the death of a dream— everyone gets “crippled” by something. No one escapes the jagged edges of a broken planet, unscathed. All believers struggle to reconcile faith with disappointment. Sin and brokenness may steal, kill, and destroy indiscriminately. But Jesus is an equal opportunity Healer and Redeemer.

Diane and her husband, Eddie, live in the heart of Silicon Valley with their two young sons.