Game for Some Family Time?

For as much time as we spend together, when I look at my little family, I have to admit, we aren’t great at spending time to together.

There comes a point in the evenings where we all end up in the living room at the same time. I’m watching HGTV, Jordan is looking at her phone, Charlie and Ben are on iPads and Saul is sitting with his work computer on his lap, making clips of his team’s latest game.

We’re so close, yet so far away.

I blame electronics (and myself for letting them have electronics). I think, If I were a better mom, I’d have the energy to get off this couch and create a fun, educational, entertaining, non-virtual activity for us all to enjoy. And then I turn back to Tiny House Hunters and wonder how that lady on the screen thinks she’s ever going to live with a composting toilet. It’s 7pm and I’m in my pajamas. We only have another hour and half before bed. Why bother trying to be super-mom now?

Based on the suggestion of a friend who knows nothing of my grudge against electronics, I watched a TED talk by Jane McGonigal. Jane is a game designer, and I have to admit, when she started talking, I may have groaned a bit. I really didn’t want to spend 20 minutes of my life learning how I could get 7 minutes of it back again if I played video games.

But then…

Jane mentioned something that cut straight to my heart. She said parents who play video games with their kids have better interactions with those kids during the game, but also after the game.

I have to be honest. I’ve never been a boy. I’ve read books recently about how to parent boys, but nothing seems to click. They are noisy and messy and sometimes defiant (sorry to all you boys who are NOT any of those things– I’m speaking about my own experiences here). Basically, as much as I love my boys, they are altogether confusing and occasionally frustrating to me.

So I figured, What do I have to lose? What’s another night with our noses in electronics? And I downloaded Yahtzee to all of our devices.

You guys, I don’t know how long it can last, but these last few nights have been the best evenings in our household ever. Seriously. The entire family is now addicted to rolling electronic dice. Pathetic? Maybe, but just this morning my 11 year old spent 15 minutes telling me all about Tim Tebow instead of reading the back of the cereal box. His lips were suddenly loosened.

My 6 year old left this note for me on the counter…

No, I’m not the best, most fun and prittyist mom around. I’m just a mom who feels like she may have stumbled upon a winning combination.

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