We were singing away to some of the latest top 40 when I mentioned one of my favourite Michael Jackson songs. My daughter replied with “Who’s Michael Jackson?” Wait…what?! WTF? Who is Michael Jackson?! What do you mean? How on earth could MY child not know who MJ is? We then proceeded to have the best dance party we have ever had with a little MJ playing in the background. I watched the kids boogie down to Billie Jean and wondered how music that was once so important to me could be unknown to my children.
Some of the best fun I’ve had with my kids is introducing them to things that I loved when I was growing up. So much has changed in the time since I was little and life seems to have become so much more complicated and busy for kids today. My kids will never use a rotary phone, life without the internet, Netflix or cell phones has never existed. It’s such a great feeling to be able to share some of the simple pleasures of my youth with them and to revisit them through their eyes.
Some things are absolutely better left in the past - I’m referring to you grungy flannel plaid pants of the 90’s, but some things really do deserve a second run.
I may or may not have cried, actual tears, the first time we all watched Annie together on movie night. I loved Annie growing up. I owned the soundtrack and can belt out every song in my sleep. As soon as the movie started, it brought back so many memories and watching my kids fall in love with it felt amazing. I’m not alone here. When our kids experienced their first viewing of the original Karate Kid; think Ralph Macchio not Jaden Smith, my son's excitement could barely be contained. The moment my daughter declared her love for Daniel-san, proudly declaring she was going to marry him, I could see his hidden grin.
Introducing my kids to Michael Jackson was an important step in their musical education as well as a peek into my musical childhood. I have always loved music and I can’t remember a time in my life where music didn’t play a huge role, so it is important for me to share my love with my kids. Certain songs and artists have the power to bring me right back to special times in my life and it’s wonderful to be able to carry my children back with me. The best part of introducing them to music from my youth is the videos! I grew up in the Much Music Video days when the video made the song! My daughter loves watching music videos on Youtube and really the best ones for her to watch are some of the older videos. Things were a little more innocent a couple of decades ago. I don’t have to worry so much about her seeing things that are just a little too old for 4 year-old eyes. Some of her favourites are Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and who else but Michael Jackson. And watching them with her brings back some great memories!
We love a good game night in this family but have you ever walked down the board game aisle in a toy store? There are tons of games to choose from and it’s super overwhelming. For this reason I tend to gravitate towards the games that I know and have always loved. Connect Four and Uno are in regular rotation at this house. The kids received a Spirograph for Christmas a couple of years ago and we had blast creating the coolest designs together. I remember spending hours with my Spirograph as a kid and it was so much fun teaching my own kids how to use it. I think next on our list is Twister! Did you love skiing as a kid but gave it up? Maybe you enjoyed rollerskating or bike riding but life got in the way? Try it out with your kids again, they might love it just as much as you did.
It can be so easy to forget how to have fun. You grow up, gain responsibilities and somewhere lose your fun having skills. Kids can help you find them again, if you allow them. Reliving some of your fondest childhood memories is such a great way to have some silly fun with your kids. This is how traditions begin. Who knows maybe one day I’ll be having a Billie Jean dance off with my grandkids?
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