We recently did a house exchange with some people who live in Paris and while there (spending time inside an alien house being challenging because of J's unleashed hyperactivity in a new place) taught him chess with a set belonging to the other family. It was just a kind of impulse on my part because I really wouldn't have thought that a five year old (unless some kind of intellectual prodigy) would be able to learn and play with any success - and certainly not learn strategy. However, to my great surprise, J has really taken to it and demands to play all the time. In a few weeks playing he has made a lot of progress and can now understand strategy a little and is able to think ahead to the extent of not playing a move which would endanger himself. Of course I am still verbally talking to him about his choices and sometimes being kind, as it were. Nonetheless I can see that if this carries on before too long he will be able to play a real game and maybe beat me (has to be said my level is most decidedly NOT that of a chess master ) Anyway, the reason I am writing about this is that I seriously think chess will help him with impulsivity. It teaches, above all, to look ahead and to think before acting. It also helps in a way with maturity because you cannot be naive and play good chess. All sorts of life lessons seem to come up when we are playing and I talk about them a little! I have read that chess also helps with school work and intellectual development generally. So I'd really encourage those of you who know how to play and have the inclination to teach your kids! It seems that even young children can learn - and J is, while bright in some ways, certainly not gifted. He's good at maths and chess is of course a mathematical, logical skill so maybe that gives him an advantage. Anyway, good at chess or not, I would far rather he was doing that than playing video games!