We all want fun and unique ways to create more family time. But, between baseball practices, play rehearsal, book club night, and daily tasks, finding family time is a struggle.
And as much as we’d all like family time to come first, unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, that sink of dirty dishes or a pile of laundry wins out over 20 minutes of playtime with the kids. Or even a quick conversation and coffee with your spouse.
If you’re thinking, “But I want my kid to spend less time on electronics, not more!” Some positive science points to development occurring when parents actively engage in electronic and media time with their kids.
Get out of the mindset that computer games are solo time. Many kids and tweens would love for their parents to pick up a controller and learn their favorite game. For example, my tween consistently asks me to sit with him and watch him play Fortnite.
While not the most exciting thing for me. This is how my son reaches out to spend time with me, so I take him up on the offer when he asks.
So maybe we should reconsider gaming and find a way to make it family time.
ABC News recently ran an opinion piece by Scott Steinberg, a business consultant and tech parenting writer.
Here are a few key ideas from the article:
- A recent study from the Education Development Center and the U.S. Congress-supported Ready To Learn (RTL) Initiative found that a curriculum that involved digital media, such as video games, could improve early literacy skills when coupled with strong parental and teacher involvement.
- Carefully designed studies have also shown that action video games can improve several aspects of brain activity, including multitasking.
- Games with broad appeal that are easy to grasp can help many families bridge the gap between generations.
- Many games today emphasize cooperative aspects of gameplay. These are games where two or more players must work together to reach a common goal.
- Video games can also significantly affect family relationships and deserve to be considered something that can – and should – be played together.
At KneeBouncers, we believe strongly in the power of play. It doesn’t need to be hours of play; just fit some play whenever you can. Like exercise, a few minutes here and there will add up and pay off, and so will family time.
Plus, gaming is probably an activity your child excels at, giving them a chance to be the teacher! When our kids can share their skills and talents with us, it boosts their confidence!
So the next time you are waiting for the spaghetti water to boil, sit down and play a video game with your child! Let your inner gamer come out to play!
Updated August 11th, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry