4 Simple and Fun Ways to Re-Connect with Your Kids!
Are we losing our kids? We’re certainly competing for their attention! Kids are “plugged in” these days: to their iPods, their video games, their computers, cell phones – technology has taken over their free time! What’s a parent to do to re-connect? We’ve got to get back to some of the “old fashioned” rituals we remember from when we were kids to bring balance into their lives.
1. Green therapy. Spend time outdoors. Kids tend to have a “nature deficit disorder” – they don’t get enough sunshine and fresh air. Studies show that when kids spend time outside, in green environments, they do better in school and are generally better behaved. Start a vegetable garden together. Go for a bike ride. Play some of those games you remember from childhood: kick the can, jump rope, hopscotch.
2. Congregate in the kitchen. Cook together, eat together. Rules for the dinner table: no TV, no reading, no arguing, just conversation. Conversation starter tips: “What was the favorite part of your day today?” “If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?” Take this opportunity to teach some table manners.
3. Fun and games. Keep entertainment handy so you can catch times together to play and have fun together. Waiting in the doctor’s office, watching the brother’s soccer game, visiting Grandma, after dinner at the pizza place. Hasbro has abbreviated versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, and Sorry – some of our favorite family games. These new games are perfect for when you have a short amount of time, or a short attention span!
4. Get crafty. Find hobbies you can do together. Making model boats or airplanes. Scrapbooking. Designing and making doll clothes. Think about the kinds of things you did with your parents and grandparents. Whatever it is, do it with the TV off so you can actually have a conversation! This is a great way to share together. Kids are more likely to talk, and open up about serious topics, when they are engaged in something else, so that the discussion is not so much the “focus.”