How social media has affected the family paradigm
Chew on that for one moment and then ask yourself… has it? How many times have you made the comment that all your kids want to do is play on their iPads – or that your older ones are always on their phones? That they don’t just know how to sit and be anymore. It’s a vastly different picture from when we were growing up. Our afternoons were spent in the backyard, on bikes, and in real face to face connections with our friends. And we were happy about that!
In creating technology that was meant to connect us – have we inadvertently created a disconnect? It sure seems that way. Have you ever asked your child a question and all you hear is silence?
So just how can we get our precious little ones out of their technology-driven minds, and back into our worlds where we can focus on spending time with each other?
Sometimes you have to get creative…..
My son’s previous school taught through a Project Based Learning curriculum. One of the nice things about this type of curriculum is that it allows kids to flex their creativity muscle.
Last school year, amid the Coronavirus Pandemic and while we were doing Virtual Learning, one of my son’s projects was to create a Board Game based on one of our National Parks. Over the course of a couple weeks, he had to develop his game, make his game, and then do a full-on presentation of his game.
And – excited as all kids get – he asked us all to sit down after dinner and play his game! And guess what – it was really good, and we all loved it! It also got him (and his younger brother) thinking about even more games they could create… So, the next day, they each made another game, and we played those as well.
A little creativity – a little project – is more engaging and a great way to bring the family together in a common effort.
And sometimes you must go old-school…
Card games, anyone? My youngest, who is five, has a new and very fierce interest in UNO. As in, he will dominate you, and he’s here to win. No joke, we’ve played at least one round a day for the last two weeks.
And honestly, I hope this interest continues. It’s an amazing way to teach strategy and skill – including street smart skills like how to maintain a poker face – to these young minds. And now we can stretch his mind by getting him interested in even more types of card and strategy games.
The ever-important key to getting your kids off their devices and back into connecting with you?
Keep it fun. Kids like games, period. This was true when they were toddlers, and it’s true when they are teenagers. Find things that pique their interest and devote time each day – or when you can fit in even little moments – to connecting and having these meaningful interactions.