As kids get older, they understandably want more independence. And while that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to give them, it doesn’t change the fact that you still want to be able to spend time with them. The question inevitably becomes how you can balance your child’s need for space with your own need to be a part of their life.
Back in the day, many turned to a family game night to do just that, but many would consider that a bit passe. That’s only because they’re still stuck in the 1950s, since a game night can be a fun bonding experience for everyone—if done right. To see what we mean, try these three tips to take family gaming to the next level.
Let Them Choose
Craving independence is one of the reasons kids will usually turn down an old-fashioned game night. The best way to remedy this is to give them that feeling of independence—even if they are doing something with their parents. Even something as simple as picking what you’re going to do together can make things more engaging, which makes it more likely that you’ll be able to organize another game night in the future.
Consider Putting Away The Board Games
‘Game night’ usually just means ‘really old board games’, but there’s no rule that says it has to be that way. While the occasional evening with Monopoly isn’t all that bad, try to get with the times and do something a bit more active or in line with your child’s interests.
Video and PC games are also liked by kids of all ages—adults too. So try and find some games you can play together. For example, Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world right now. With how simple it is to learn, it’ll be a snap to get into it together as a family. Of course, for this type of gaming to happen, it’s important to have reliable high-speed internet. The last thing you want is to lose your connect mid-game. So you may want to contact your phone and internet service provider and discuss your options for installing high speed internet.
While gaming may have negative connotations for some, the reality is that gaming serves as an excellent opportunity for kids to learn coding languages and computing basics. So use your weekly game night as an opportunity to play and learn together as a family.
If you’re not going to be connected to the internet, then this is an excellent time to try tabletop gaming as well – this is particularly going to be a hit if some of your kids are creative. For games like Dungeons and Dragons, there are certain measures of preparation to take, but the overall experience can be a great way to learn more about your kids and yourself through good ol’ RPG-ing.
It’s entirely possible that game night will go off without a hitch and everyone will love it. This, however, is just the best-case scenario. It’s also just as possible your kid might get bored and quit part way through, and this is okay.
Trying to force them to stay and play with you is just going to make things worse, so try to roll with the punches. It’s okay to switch to a different game if you need to or even just call it quits early on. You can try again some other time, and your child will appreciate being let go instead of being stuck in a situation.
Try more passive activities next time, they may not be what you imagined but starting out small can work pretty well. Maybe watch some movies (a Star Wars marathon never can go wrong). Maybe even debate a bit after on the best ones (here are some rankings if you want some good debating points). If staying at home doesn’t work well, even going to dinner with the family can foster a feeling of closeness. The point here as that you should be flexible and try anything that might be easier for your kids to settle in.
If you can remember these easy tips on revamping the old family game night, you’ll definitely be able to connect with your kids and spend more time with them than before.