I was 100% sure my kids were going to love the same movies I loved as a kid. Or that they’d love the music that I do and that one day we’d sing it together in the car. But it turns out they have their own ideas about what’s cool and what’s not. (As well as what’s “old” and “from the late 1900s,” which is accurate but still hurts a little.) Luckily, there are some simple joys from my youth that they do enjoy. As far as everything else goes, they’ll appreciate it when they get older. (I hope.)
4 Things I Thought My Kids Would Love:
- Board Games: As far as my kids are concerned, they might as well be called “bored” games. I mean, sure, they’re not as exciting as moving into a digital village full of animals you’re now responsible for but if you can’t find joy in climbing a ladder or watching an opponent slide down a chute, I’m not even sure we’re related.
- Road Trips: What’s not to love about hours in the car with your parents, listening to music from another generation, looking at strip malls, and being told “no, we cannot stop again for you to pee!” OK, fine. This one I get.
- Painting Pottery: Let’s just say that a fragile, half-painted (mostly a lovely blended shade of poop), oversized coffee mug that takes a week to kiln-fire is not the thrilling activity for my children that I thought it would be.
- Puzzles: Turns out “Look kids! 8,000 pieces!” is not the rallying cry I imagined. We basically all race to complete the border edges aaaaand… then it sits on the table with an empty middle until someone (me) gets fed up enough to either finish it (yeah, right) or just put it all away. Good times.
4 Things My Kids Actually Love
- Backyard Camping: Who knew sleeping on the ground in close quarters could be so much fun? They especially love making flashlight animals on the side of the tent, and looking up at the stars. This one’s pretty special.
- Remote Control Cars: I figured they’d only be into the video game version, but it turns out some things are still better IRL. Yes, they fight about who won the race, and for some reason every course merges directly with my feet, but hey, it’s all part of the fun.
- Walkie Talkies: Cell phone, schmell phone. There’s something adventurous about the buttons, speaker, and antenna of a real-life walkie talkie. Hiding behind trees, spying on your little brother, ending sentences with “copy” and “over.” Bonus: “Let’s see how far apart we can go and still hear each other” can buy you a good 5-7 minutes of peace.
- Robots: You’d think with all our virtual personal assistants
listening to our every wordproviding us with attentive service, robots would have lost their luster. Nope. My kids will still choose the “meep moop beep boop” version over the British accent any day.
Bottom line? As long as we’re spending some QT together, I can put my pride aside, and quit trying to make them like what I think they should. (Except for board games. Everyone should love board games.)
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This article was sponsored by Rayovac.