Households in Australia have gotten busy. Busier than ever before perhaps. These days a lot of households has mum working as much as Dad, and Dad working more than ever. Gone is the 38-hour work week and spending time at home on the weekend. With all this time away from home it can be harder to find ways to spend quality time with the kids.
Kids are not growing up the same way their parents did. The world has dramatically changed since our childhood and we must find new ways to bond with our kids.
If your idea of having quality time with your son or daughter consists of sharing a conversation about their day while checking your newsfeed or answering an email on your smart phone. This article is here to help.
Let’s look at a few ways to spend quality time being a part of your kids’ world.
- Technology in toys.
Fun things to do with kids.
Wow have toys changes since I was kid. Growing up, our idea of cops and robbers consisted of imagination, some repurposed linen for costumes and a cap gun. These days, toy guns are incredible and cos play costumes are readily available. A small collection of nerf guns and some basic costumes from eBay will make for hours of fun on a regular basis. My kids and I regularly engage in high powered dart gun action throughout the house. The kids dressed in incredible replicas of US marines or cowboys. We strategize, we laugh, and we generally shoot the shit out of each other with harmless foam bullets. Getting involved in an activity like this promotes physical activity and will genuinely make the family laugh.
- Gaming consoles
Consoles have been around for a long time now. Nintendo and Sega were very much a part of my childhood. These days kids spend a lot of time on their consoles and gaming is a big part of many households. Some of you may be active gamers already. For those of us that aren’t up to date with modern consoles we may be missing a great part of the world our kids live in. Try getting involved in multiplayer game in direct competition with your children. Your kids will love beating you at something, and the conversation will give you an insight into what makes them tick.
Sport isn’t exactly a new way to spend time to spend time with your kids. With new availability in toys however, we can make it more interesting. Basketball rings come premanufactured with quick height adjustments. Cricket stump kits come with light up bats and stumps. My youngest son insist we watch Kobe Bryant’s greatest highlights on YouTube before we go and shoot some hoops. If your kids are remotely interested in a sport, they will no doubt have some sporting heroes. Get an insight by watching YouTube videos together. This can be a great way to connect with your kids.
- Making media together
The world our kids are growing up in, is full of online content and self-expression. Making videos, music and dances with your kids is an instant way into their world. Grab your smart phone and start filming your activities. Sharing the efforts from start to finish, including publishing your video on the social media of your choice. These moments are not only a great bonding experience, they also create memories for years to come. Imagine being able to look back at childhood videos of yourself in the 70’s and 80’s playing with your family. Simply by looking on your own YouTube account. Kids grow up so fast and having the ability to look back on their videos from even 12 months before is fantastic.
- Modern TV
Growing up, my family would have the occasional movie night. We would all load into the car and head to our local blockbuster video. Splitting up as soon as we walked into the store and spending an hour choosing our rentals. Meeting back together at the snack area afterwards, to pick up some popcorn, skittles and coke. Returning home, we would proceed to load the living room with blankets and pillows. Setting up for a late night of bad movies and talking too much. Unfortunately, this whole experience has been somewhat lost in the modern world. With Netflix, Stan, Disney Plus and the dozens of ways to rent the latest films. We simply click what we want and watch it with zero interaction. Try adding some of the experience back into movie nights. Take the kids to the grocery store and have them choose the snacks. Search through the family section of your preferred rental data base and watch the trailers. If your kids are a little older, mix it up and rent a thriller. My family loves scaring the shit out of mum and pretending it didn’t scare the shit out of us too. Load your living area with blankets and share some junk food. Make sure all your smart devices are left in another room.
We would love to hear your feedback on this subject. Please share your ideas for quality family time in the comments.