Do you have a monosyllabic teenager staring into your fridge? Find it hard to prise the kids off their screens? Do you insist at meal times they put their mobile phones away? We do. Does it always work? No! Recent research shows that the modern teenager spends up to 8 hours a day interacting with a screen of some description. That’s bonkers! And let’s face it it’s hard finding things to bring them back to the real world even for a brief minute. Maybe family card or board games are the answer. Ok I have to confess something here. I grew up in the late 70s and computer games were just on the rise. I spent way too many hours playing Dungeon Master or Horace goes skiing. So we are just as much to blame as the modern generation for screen hugging and blocking out the boring adult world but it was not always so prevalent and not in the palm of our hands like it is today. Our 48k Spectrum didn’t constantly ping at us to look at it. People on a regular basis press their home buttons on their phones to see if they have any messages. This is like repeatedly opening your front door to see if anyone is standing their, it’s crazy. We are a planet obsessed with being connected.
Connecting with the kids again Some of the new card games for kids out there are great fun. Snake Oil by Amigo is one of our favourites at the moment and getting the kids to interact with each other is such a laugh if you get it right. You see a different side to them and although it’s my job as a bossy parent to try to get them to come off the screens, I am just as addicted as everyone else. So it works for me and the kids.
“But card games are boring!… and slow and just stop going on about games will you?” a quote from my 14-year-old son. 10 minutes later I get “That was fun… I’m hungry there’s never anything in the house to eat?” It’s always hard to kick start the whole game thing with kids but here’s a tip on how to do it . Bribe them! Offer them screen time for one game of Kastles then they can go back on the Xbox and shoot terrorist. It slowly introduces them to another way to play games. Choose your games carefully, read reviews, ask friends. One boring game of rummy-cub can set you back years of negotiations. Find games that are quick and easy to learn, check out the video setups if they have one and another tip read the rules before hand. Then say OK “You own a Castle and I am going to destroy it” it’s all about how you sell it.
Unplug and re-connect The other tip is to accidentally walk past the WiFi router and oops!!! pull the cable out. Of course don’t do it while you are writing a blog piece like this otherwise y….