Many years ago, while my firstborn was still in utero and my second was just a twinkle in my eye, I had a vision about what motherhood would be like. I imagined pushing my children on swings in the playground, coffee dates with my girlfriends while our toddlers quietly played together and our babies slept peacefully. I also imagined a weekly family night in which we would all happily eat snacks and play board games.
As you know, things don’t always go as you imagine they will. Pushing one child on the swings would guarantee the other would get stuck on the climbing structure or perhaps start eating the playground gravel, and as for the coffee dates, they were spent chasing a toddler around, holding the wailing baby on my hip while the coffee sat, cold and untouched.
And what about family night? Well, it happens, but not the way I thought it would. You see, my boys are now 9 and 10 years old, and do you know what boys that age want to do for fun? They want to play video games.
For a long time, I tried to arrange family night to be true to my vision. I would set up board games and put out bowls of snacks, but to be honest, it was a bit of a bust. What they really wanted to do was quickly finish a round of the games I chose so they could get back to their video games. At first I was discouraged, but then a light bulb went off - what if I played what they wanted to play?
Here's the thing: family night should be about spending time with family, not about me and my pre-conceived notion of what it should look like. I was so busy trying to create a family night based on MY ideal that I didn’t pay attention to what the rest of the family wanted to do.
I’ve changed my tune and redefined our family night, keeping in mind the motto if you can’t beat them, join them! I've learned that it’s all about compromising and finding a common ground, and discovering experiences that the whole family can enjoy.
As I started to take interest in their video games, the boys started to take an interest in finding ones I would enjoy. When the boys introduced me to video dance games, we had a winner. How could I say no to dancing to my favourite tunes? Family nights are now a dance party where we each choose the songs we like to dance to, and we cheer each other on.
Finding a common ground between parents and kids has been a struggle, but in my house, we can always agree on three things:
- Mom's rendition of most songs is a thing of beauty.
- Group dance songs we can all dance to at the same time are the most fun.
- Delicious treats are an integral part of family night, all that dancing works up an appetite!
During our last family night, we enjoyed Marvellous Creations. These are not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill candy bars, they are Cadbury Dairy Milk paired with deliciously different flavours, such as Banana Caramel Crisp, Cookie Nut Crunch, and Jelly Popping Candy.
The best part is that these scrumptious candy bars are the perfect size for the whole family to share and enjoy!
Sharing with each other and spending precious time together. Isn't that what family night is all about?