Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Monday, August 4, 2014

Experiential Parenting

Parenting is hard work.  There is no way around that. It just is and always will be. And when we take our kids to the playground or on a play date or to an indoor play space, etc we are still tired. So we use this time to relax, catch up on email, social media, etc.. If we're with friends on a play date then our kids play and we relax. Pretty standard stuff.  

However I'm doing my best, when I can to try something new.. It's called Experiential parenting - do what your kids are doing. Now obviously we can't do everything our kids are doing for various reasons. However, when I can, I like to participate. So many times we want to capture what our children are doing on video or pictures that we forget to experience.. Of course there are times we want on video like birthday parties or once in a lifetime opportunities.. But I feel like I want to experience more WITH my children if I can, when I can (and if they'll allow me). So I decided to say what the hell and have some fun.

Over the weekend I took the Twinado to Launch in Norwood. This is a place totally outfitted with trampolines everywhere. I've heard great things about it and to be honest, it looked like a lot of fun. There are so many play spaces around now with inflatable bounce houses, etc that just weren't around when I was a kid. I feel like I totally missed out on something that I would have really enjoyed. So yeah, I got a ticket for myself. And I am glad I did.

It was awesome..  We jumped, played trampoline basketball (and yes I dunked), trampolined into a foam pit, which is much harder to get out of than these kids make it out to be.. In 3 minutes I was only able to jump in twice. It's common sense that when you jump in feet first your feet are under all the foam blocks. But when you try to pick them up so you can get out the foam blocks stick to your socks and the socks fall off. So you have to then grab the sock and continue to try to get out. It was pretty discouraging really. And then we played a few games of trampoline dodge ball which is about as much fun as it sounds.. 

However I know my limitations (I'm not a huge fan of roller coasters, big drops, etc), but these kids have no fear.. Flips and all.. The boys were even jumping on to the wall, which of course was also a trampoline and it looked like they were stopping or pausing while their feet were on the wall and then they'd just jump off back onto the trampoline like they had done it a million times.. I'm pretty sure one of my kids is going to take up Parkour pretty soon.. If you don't know what that is, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihBoqdOsQOo 
And they are also obsessed with American Ninja Warrior, which is a really cool show if you've never seen it.

It was fun to watch them but also fun to be in the middle of it with them.. And when we were waiting in line they asked if I was going to jump with them. I said yes and they were overjoyed.. I love making them happy.. And it makes me happy to know they enjoy spending time with me too..

So if you are able, the next time your kids are experiencing something new or are at a place where parents can participate, do me a favor: Put down the phone and experience WITH your kids.. It's a whole new perspective.. And even though we know parenting is and always will be hard work, it doesn't mean we can't have fun too.

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