Technology. It has connected us in ways we never thought possible. But while it can bring us closer to people around the world, it can often prevent us from connecting with those who are the closest to us — our children. Between social media sites, online games, and streaming music, movies, and TV shows, it's hard for modern parents to compete for the attention of their children.
Here are simple and fun ways to reconnect with your children. The best part is, no batteries or chargers are required.
- Come to the kitchen table. Remember the family dinner? Today's busy sports and other extracurricular activities' schedules have made it hard for families to sit down at the same time to share a meal. Try to schedule family dinners or breakfasts a few times a week. Invite family members to keep their electronic devices from the table and to talk about their days.
- Cook a meal together. Decide what you will make and plan to go shopping together for ingredients. When you cook the meal, you'll have valuable time to talk.
- Exercise. If you have a basketball hoop in your driveway or neighborhood, ask your child to join you in a shootout. You can also arrange to go on a long walk or scenic hike. It doesn't matter what activity you choose; the important thing is that you pick a healthy way to spend time together.
- Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to connect with your children and to make a difference in the life of someone in need. Consider volunteering with your child at a food pantry or delivering meals to the elderly.
- Try something new. Is there something you and your child have never done that you would both like to try? Maybe you'd like to learn how to sail, to make pottery or to try yoga? If you're real adventurous, go sky diving together.
- Play a game. Dust off your Monopoly game or checkerboard and show your children there's another way to play games besides playing them on the computer. Maybe even do a puzzle together.
- Take on a home improvement project. Does your child want to change the color of their room or build shelves? Plan to do a project together and involve your child every step of the way.
It really doesn't matter what activity you choose. The important thing is you've taken your child away from electronics and reminded them about the most important connection of all — family.