Monday, 18 November 2013

{Guest Post: The Winter Blues}

Today's guest post touches on the topic of a previous post of mine, technology and the impact it has on playtime. Karen's children are obviously older than mine as she talks of texting and Xboxes, but I agree that being inside because of miserable weather does not need to mean boredom. As my kiddies get older, I love the idea of starting a tradition of family game night... I also have lovely memories growing up of doing puzzles with my dad before bed. I picked up this game at the supermarket recently. We're yet to play it, but I thought with the penguins it was perfectly themed for winter! 

Anyway, enough of my blabbing... over to Karen:

Getting most kids’ out of the home during summer time is not a big deal. With the sun shining, ice creams vans parked on every corner in the UK, fun activities, music blaring and long days you don’t even need to give them that nudge they sometimes need! When winter arrives it seems harder and harder to keep them active as they would rather sit in front of the heater than pop down to the corner shop to get that desperately needed loaf of bread. As a parent of two, during winter I have to admit that after a long day at work all I want to do is curl up in bed and switch the telly on...but then where does that leave my children? Most of their winter is spent in front of the T.V, playing games, texting...just about anything that will reduce their boredom.

Family Movie Night {image source}

When I do have the energy I find that my short winter days are spent nagging them to do something productive and get out for a while. I get them off the T.V so they get their phones out. I take away their phones so they fire up the Xbox. I demand they switch off the Xbox and I wave my arms towards the front door like a mad woman and I can see their scepticism as the rain and wind darkens the skies and batters the window. At that moment I asked myself ‘Would I really go out in that weather?’ I think that every parent reading this will know what my answer would be.

It finally dawned on me that I had to change my attitude towards winter so I could teach my kids’ something. I thought back to my childhood winter days and knew what I had to do. No amount of pushing them out the door was going to do it. I understood that winter is opposite to summer in physicality and in the spiritual sense. The idea that both summer and winter balance each other out led me to make very small changes in our lives...without stepping out the door.

Changes began with simple conversations. After work rather than allowing everyone to escape to their individual rooms I would try and get them to sit down together at dinner and ask questions. After a few times filled with tired responses and moody faces I was delighted to see my kids were actually enjoying our little time together! Baby steps led to our winter being completely transformed and I started to look forward to the end of work to finish off that ongoing game of monopoly or that television series we were watching together.

Family game night {image source}

Thinking back I realise it was the small changes that brought me closer to my children during the winter. It finally dawned on me that it wasn’t my children that had to be taught a valuable 'lesson' was me. I made the effort to make my kids winter just that little bit more magical and maybe one day they will carry on the small traditions I introduced to them with their own children. So, to all parents out there have a happy family winter!

Author Bio
Former British Airways cabin crew member, Karen Rayner currently lives in Warwick with her husband and two children, Charlotte and Jack. She is the founder of Childrens Funky Furniture, an online furniture store which provides imaginative and creative furniture items that appeal to young children. Karen also writes extensively about how to create artistic and vibrant bedrooms that children can relate to and enjoy. Follow Karen on Google Plus.

1 comment:

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