Technology and family go hand-in-hand for this mom and her brood, with gaming being just another way to spend time together.
When I think of my family, three main pillars come to mind—technology, sports and communication. Each of these pillars is an important part of my family and defines who we are when we interact with each other and the world. Below outlines why each one of them makes up our family.
I won’t lie, we’re a technology heavy household. In our household we have: three working tablets and a broken one, three laptops, one desktop computer, one printer, two smartphones, one flat screen television, one Xbox 360, one WiiU, one Apple TV, plus lots of games to play on the 360 and the WiiU such as Minecraft, Super Mario Brother, FIFA16 and NHL14.
Technology in our household isn’t seen as a bad thing. It’s simply seen as another activity that my family does and sometimes we do it all together. I’ve played Mario games and Minecraft with my kids. And my husband, who is a geek, will play Minecraft with our boys. My boys love playing Minecraft with their dad. It’s cute when they trash talk their dad or do goofy things to his Minecraft world. What I’ve learned/observed is that technology facilitates conversations in our house. My boys talk about Bale, Hero Brian and what they watched on YouTube. They are discovering what they like and what they dislike. We have had some very interesting conversations about sports and nature, among other things.
The next pillar in our household is sports or just simply being active. With two boys 19 months apart, it’s a necessity. I can always tell when my boys haven’t burned off enough energy. It’s almost like there is something kinetic in the air and that’s when I know it’s time to go outside. My kids play soccer, indoor floor hockey and recently discovered street hockey. I work out and scull while my husband runs when the weather is nice. Living on the West Coast also means we have access to some great parks which we take advantage of.
I’m the type of Mom who will play hand ball, soccer, tag or run around the house with my kids. Sometimes, it is the most frustrating experience ever as a parent because the rules are always changing. I’ve learned (over time) that the main goal is not to let Mom win ever and if I do win it’s only due to some random (a.k.a. made up) technicality (which I’m fine with.) Playing together is something that my boys cherish. It’s such a simple thing but means so much to them. (I will admit that they always ask to play at the most inopportune time such as when I’m trying to make dinner.)
Sports, I’ve observed, is another great way to develop conversations with my kids. I’m competitive and I’ve had to learn to dial it back when it comes to my kids. Both my kids play sports for different reasons—Nathan plays sports to win, while Parker just wants to have fun. My hubby and I are still mastering the art of talking to them after a game or a practice.
The final pillar of our family is communication. We are always communicating with each other. While this may seem like something obvious, I’m not sure most families do what we do. For example, my kids and I have breakfast together and talk about the upcoming activities during the day. I feel the need to mention that there are no screens in the morning on days the kids go to school, even though we are a tech heavy household. Our kids wake up to boring old kitchen sounds. I’ve found that it helps to set the tone of the day for my kids.
And then at dinner, we all sit down together with my hubby and talk about what happened during the day. We have this routine we do that we borrowed from my husband’s sister. It’s called Hi-Low. Every person in the family talks about one high of their day and one low of their day. You don’t have to have a low but you do have to have a high. We’ve been doing it for a while, and it’s a great way for everyone to share what they have been doing. The added bonus is that I also get to hear/sense what’s going on with my kids emotionally.
We also communicate a lot through cuddling and snuggling. I know that, at six and eight, my kids are still young, but I am really hoping that even when they do grow up we’ll still be an affectionate, tactile family.
And that’s it. Those pillars of technology, sports and communication really define who we are as a family. They might change over time but for now, those three are perfect for us.
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