If we’re all super honest with each other, we’ll admit that sometimes extended family time, holiday travel and sibling “interactions” can be a bit of a challenge over these extended breaks with our beloved children. It can take some serious planning, managing and manipulating to keep everyone happy and copasetic through it all, now can’t it?
I see you nodding your head, I feel you.
But I think we can also agree that these couple weeks without regular work and school commitments, and the party train of time consuming extra-curricular activities is a welcome departure from the daily grind, as well.
This holiday season I’ve been working with Nintendo on a fun campaign encouraging collective PLAY-time for kids and their families, and exploring their brand new Nintendo 3DS game Mario Party Star Rush. It’s been eye-opening learning about what modern parents are really feeling about “family time” and kid-management.
Nintendo shared with me an extensive survey they conducted of a thousand working parents. It revealed that parents not only wish they took more time to play with their kids, they are also feeling uber stressed about travel and holiday entertaining with their offspring in tow.
In fact, 50% of parents felt that getting stuck in traffic for an hour with their kids would be more stressful than getting stuck in an elevator for an hour alone. 52% of parents fear that their family won’t “get along,” and say worrying that their kids won’t behave causes them major stress during parties or gatherings. If you’ve experienced this over the last two weeks, you’re clearly not alone.
So what’s a parent to do? Break the rules!!
(64% of parents say they frequently “break the rules” while traveling to keep their children engaged, so we’re in good company).
Here are some rules we totally broke for good reason this holiday…
1. Digital gaming for all! Here’s the thing, our kids LOVE their digital games. But as parents we often see them as time-sucks or mindless entertainment (guilty as charged). But here’s what I’ve come to realize. It’s all about choosing the right games, and using them wisely. We’ve been collectively playing several new Nintendo 3DS games including the recently-launched Mario Party Star Rush. My boys have loved playing this game together, showing me new levels, teaching me how to “slay” at collecting coins, and truly interacting and working together. As long as parents have purchased a copy of the Mario Party Star Rush game, family members can play together using their own Nintendo 3DS system if they download a free multiplayer version of the game from the Nintendo eShop. (Nintendo 2DS and New Nintendo 3DS systems included!) join in together for simultaneous multiplayer fun.
My son Truman asked for another Nintendo 3DS game for Christmas, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, after getting to explore Mario Party Star Rush, so we are full-on Mario up in here. These are games that I can feel good about letting them play, so some extra time on their Nintendo 3DS devices doesn’t bother me one bit! Interested in Mario Party Star Rush? Click HERE to learn more, or purchase one of your own! (Rated “E” for Everyone, $39.99)
2. Let them SLEEP!
I have two teenage boys. And while I’m an early riser and usually see the value in getting up and staring one’s day in a timely fashion, when it comes to holiday break, they can sleep til noon for all I care! If you have young children I know the notion of your kids sleeping in this late is your wildest fantasy, but when it starts to happen in teenagerhood, we type A parents can suddenly see sleeping past 9AM as slacker behavior. I say fight the urge to make your kids be productive before they’re ready over these breaks. They’ll be back to the early wake ups soon enough.
3. Embrace the mess…and then clean it up later.
Holiday breaks and weekends are for productive and playful mess-making. Let it go!!
Then, on Sunday afternoon give everyone a to-tidy list and bang it out over some fun music and a cookie party when it’s all done!
Disclosure: I received products and compensation for my time from Nintendo, but all opinions are strictly my own.