Keep it simple: family learnings over the summer

A sponsored post for Bupa

I have to say, that so far over this summer the Macdonald Team Family game has been STRONG. School holidays, Christmas and New Years will do that to you when you are forced to spend many, many (MANY!) days in a row together and despite my feeling a little, shall we say, suffocated at times from a clingy toddler or, extra emo 7 year old, it’s been wonderful with lots of memories made.

And it wasn’t just with the 5 of us. We had my gorgeous niece come and stay with us for a week or so, then off on a family holiday with 19 of my immediate family (Rob’s eye is still twitching I swear it), another family trip to the farm as well as other family and friend catch ups along the way.

So wholesome!

Despite ALL this family time, so much FAMILY TIME, I must say I learnt a few things along the way.

1. Kids love spending time with adults

Der right? Without distractions of social media or phones or TV, adults were able to be REALLY present with kids on our holiday. This meant actually BEING there with them. It meant that you picked up the textas and coloured in and chatted, it meant showing them something, it meant TALKING and listening to them and really being there. I know I am so guilty of being there in person but being a million miles away with work or on my phone but without all that, it made such a difference to the kids who thrived with the attention. Simple right? Why do we get it so wrong so often?

Find out how I’m committing to changing this this year.

2. It doesn’t take much time or effort to connect with kids

I also noticed that it can take as little as 5-10 minutes to really connect with a kid. It could be kicking a ball around, showing them a card game, helping them colour in or do a puzzle or play a board game. All they need is TIME and even if you have only a little of that to giveaway, it’s better than no time at all. There’s heaps you can get done in 10 minutes. HEAPS.

3. Choose different ways to connect with kids

One thing I loved was spending time with all my nieces and nephews aged from 14 years to 18 months. That’s a BIG age gap and it’s a whole lot of interests and likes in between. Knowing what appeals to one kid, and focusing on that at each spare moment allows that kid to thrive. The 11 year old who loves basketball? Sure, I will risk wetting my pants and running around and doing that for 5 mins or so. Asking them questions, getting them to teach you what they know will instantly connect you. Same with the book worm with her head in Harry Potter, ask about books, sit and read side by side.

4. Old School is new school for many of our kids

All the stuff that we took for granted as kids (and usually where all my best memories are) like board games, swimming for hours, card games, is all stuff that doesn’t come as naturally to our digital native kids. I think their brains are wired differently. Take them back to all that daggy stuff. I swear they will love it, and of course you will too as you get to relive the golden years! Teach them stuff, show them stuff, lead by example and get involved….I know me yelling at my kids to get off devices as I sit with my phone next to me isn’t the best way to go about it!

The best memories I have of our time together were all the ones when it was me with one of the kids. Baking bread with my niece, playing basketball with my nephew, taking photos of my biggest nephew catching balls with him checking he looked great in them every time; it was those simple moments, of really being there, with them, both bringing something to the moment and sharing it together.

Even without close families nearby, there are always to connect with kids and
we recently had a chance to do just that, only a little more competitively with The Woog’s when they came down for a day of Team Family fun.

Again, a couple of simple (slightly daggy) and quick games were all it took to get the kids outside, into some old school action, where we all couldn’t stop laughing and having fun.
Even those big kids who probably thought they were too grown up for this kind of thing (myself included!) found themselves giggling like little kids. You can check out our fun here:

I never realised just how bad I was at pretty much everything. Honestly. The Macdonald’s had no chance! Again proving that a quick and fun connect with adults and kids can be so much fun. The kids LOVE this stuff.

You can find out some more ways to connect with your own family through the Team Family initiative that Bupa (including events and suggestions) have started here.

How’s your Team Family travelling after the school holidays?
Too much time together?
Got any learnings from your own time you’d like to share?

Comments

  1. Love this post. And that video is so fun to watch. Well done Team Woog. I agree, going back to old school activities is heaps of fun with the kids. And they love it too. And getting away from my phone and computer and just focusing on them… well I find I really enjoy it. The best way for me to do this is to get out of the house -whether it’s outside or going somewhere. On the weekend we headed to the Art Museum and we all enjoyed it. The phone was only out to take pictures. On another note, how beautiful are your girls? Maggie is growing up so fast too. Love reading about your family Beth. xx

  2. Beautiful video. Daisy is looking so grown up now!

  3. Gosh for some reason I have stopped getting your posts delivered to my inbox, OH THE SHAME. Not sure what happened there, all fixed! What a cool idea having a trophy for the winners. Looks like you’ve had a bumper summer!

  4. AND That video is GOLD – made me smile seeing you all smile and laugh!

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