Fellow Floridians looks like we will be spending our Labor Day weekend riding out this storm after all. Hopefully by now you have been able to find gas, get last minute hurricane supplies and finish boarding up your homes.
What if I were to tell you being stuck indoors with your kids with no WiFi and possibly no power for the next few days can actually be good for your family?
Hear me out!
After Hurricane Irma in 2017, all of my clients were thankfully spared any serious damage. I was a bit surprised to hear from many of my young clients how much they enjoyed themselves! No, not just because school was closed, but more so because of the quality time they got to spend with their families.
Families lost WiFi and some power for a bit, and were forced to interact like the good old times. They played board games together, told stories, prepared meals together and TALKED!. Kids got bored and ended up discovering their toys and books. Neighbors came out of their homes, to help each other, share supplies and even to grill together. Extended family members stayed over and spent uninterrupted time together.
Life is busy nowadays, it feels like we are always rushing to soccer, to piano then back home to do homework, make dinner and get kids to bed. The weekends fly by, with the travel soccer game, birthday parties, working on last minute school projects and maybe a brunch where everyone is on their phones.
Kids need play time, free unstructured play to use their imagination and be kids! It is crucial to their growth and development. Children also need their parents to have time to play with them as this strengthens their connection and relationship. Children and adults need to be off electronics and interact more with each other.
Well, you are going to be indoors for a few days and your WiFi is probably going to be out. The kids won’t have school and you won’t have to leave to work. Here is your chance to spend quality TIME with your kids.
Play with your kids! Yes even with your teens!
So this is how it’s going to go, initially there will be complaining and a lot of whining. Let them get it out, be patient, take many deep breaths, or have a glass of wine. You are then going to offer activities to do with them, similar to the ones you engaged in as a kid, you know when the world was simple.
Here are some suggestions:
- Board games
- Playing cards: Rumi, GoldFish, Spit, War etc
- Balloons: tap back and forth, while saying the ABC’s
- Bubbles: pop them, blow them
- Thumb war
- Ball: catch, hot potato, monkey in the middle
- Arts and crafts, coloring books, drawing
- Build a Fort
- Hide and Seek
- Hand Clapping games: Miss Mary Mac Mac
- Make paper airplanes
- Telephone game
- Pillow fights
- Read together
- Nerf gun battle
- Floor is Lava
- Hot and Cold
- Simon Says
- Make up a dance routine together
- Play with their toys in their room or play room.
Your kids will probably whine some more or roll their eyes. Eventually, they will get bored and they will begin to consider some of the ideas and games you have proposed. Once they agree, go for it, sit with them, and play with them. This is where the magic happens! You guys will have fun together, laugh together and they will love it!
Try to keep the momentum going even after the storm passes and everyone goes back to work and school. Choose a day of the week to do a family activity and commit to it. Make time daily to play with your kids; aim for at least 15 minutes a day, give them your undivided attention. No screens allowed, everyone must put the phones away and connect and have fun!