This past labor day our family went out for Mexican. This is a rare occurrence for us, so the kids savored every minute. I held the newborn while the older kids munched on tortilla chips. They dipped them in variety of spicy sauces while we waited for our meals. We laughed as my daughter confidently tried a spicy sauce, determined to like it, only to down half of her water after her first (and only) bite. Once served, we began sampling each others plates, testing the variety of goodies that lay before us. We talked, we ate, and we enjoyed each others company.
Then, I looked around at the other booths in the restaurant only to see practically everyone and their grandmother scrolling on their smart phones. I kid you not. First, I spotted three college kids sitting at a table together. All three of them, two boys and a girl were gazing at their phones while waiting for their food.
Behind them was an older couple, probably old enough to be their parent's age. The woman was on her phone while the man finished up his meal.
As we walked out the door, I looked and saw a family with kids and yes, one of the kids was on a device playing a game to pass the time.
I know I am not miss social butterfly or anything but I will say that sometimes I feel like I am in the twilight zone when I look around at everyone glued to their phones. Are our children going to grow up to be so social awkward that they can't even look up from their phones and look someone in the eye to order food? Will they be too afraid to go the the post office to mail a package or interact with someone at a grocery store? How can we teach them not hide their lights under a bushel when we allow them to hide behind their phones or devices?
It begins with us. We need to train them. We need to train our children to have conversations with one another. We need to allow them to interact with one another and come up with conflict resolutions on their own. At first, while young, we help them. As they grow older, they then need to deal with their own selfish desires in a safe environment.
What better way to do this than by providing opportunities within our own home? One way we encourage family interaction is by having game nights. Once in a while we will set aside an hour or two, when everyone is home and determine to start, and finish a game. It teaches kids patience. It teaches them how to handle disappointment if they don't win and how to be a good winner if they do win. It teaches them to follow rules and so much more.
It doesn't matter so much what the game is as it does who the game is played with. Our kids love the quality time spent with their parents when we plan to have a game night. They know that we won't be busy texting or emailing people but wholeheartedly spending time with them.
Looking for some fun family games? Check out Rainbow Resource Center for ideas!
|Forbidden Island Game|
|Kingdom Builder Game|
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own.