Winning the Video Game Battle With Your Kids!

Winning the Video Game Battle With Your Kids

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Do you have video games in your house?  I do.  And I’m one that likes to play sports games like crazy.  What guy doesn’t, right?  I can’t count the number of times my kids have fought over whose turn it was.

How do you manage a house that has several video gaming consoles and still keep the peace?  As a daddy of 4 it can be challenging to keep everyone happy when it comes to video games.  Here are 10 tips I came up with to help others in my situation:

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Tip #1: It’s a Privilege

We teach our kids that video game time is a privilege and they have to earn it.  Homework, chores and family time come first.  Those things are necessities.  We can survive without video games.  Nothing we do with video games directly impacts our survival.

Tip #2: Set a Time Limit

If we didn’t set a time limit, our kids would probably play all day and all night.   Use a phone timer or the microwave timer to provide a reminder that time is up.  Don’t extend the time!  If 30 minutes is the limit you have set then stick with it.

Tip #3: Add In Educational Games

There are many different types of educational games out there so it’s a great idea to try to incorporate these into your household.  There are trivia games that the whole family can play together.  Yes, it is possible to play video games and have quality family time at the same time!

Tip #4: Permit Only Age Appropriate Games

Limit the genres that your kids are allowed to select when buying new video games.  A 6 year old should not be playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.  My kids usually play Lego games, sports games and Barbie games.  If you would play it during a guy’s night out it’s probably not appropriate for kids.

Tip #5: Promote Patience, Sharing and Helping

Even playing a video game can give your kids ample opportunities to practice patience, sharing and helping.  Take advantage wherever you can! Your 6 year old may be dying to play his game, but his sister still has 30 minutes left with her turn.  Having patience is a skill that should be taught at an early age.

Tip #6: Teach Organizational Skills

The fun is over so now what?  It’s time to take the game out of the console, put it in its case and back in storage.  Teach your kids that a condition of playing the game is to take care of it and store it properly. This also prolongs the life of the game by preventing scratch and dirt from destroying it.  There’s nothing more frustrating that a game that won’t work when you are itching to play the game.

Tip #7: Recognize Achievement

Your child wins the World Series or the Super Bowl in their video games. Just like anything else, he or she gets excited and seeks out recognition.  Celebrate with your child and congratulate them on a job well done.  This goes beyond it just being a game. It’s becoming more about sharing successes with them.

Tip #8: Teach Them How To Cope With Failure

Your child is not going to immediately win every game he or she plays.  Mine get easily frustrated and tend to try to restart the game or quit altogether.  If they try to quit at a video game chances are they will try to quit at other things in life.  Teach them to play the game until the end.  Down by 50 points?  Teach them to keep trying and play it out.  This scenario could definitely happen to them in real life.

Tip #9: Promote Games That Require Physical Activity

The Wii is good at requiring the user to get up and do some sort of physical action.  Back in my day it was a pad made for running on and jumping on.  Kids seem to like these games a lot and at least they are not being still for 2 hours!

Tip #10: Buy Used Games Instead of New

There are many stores today where you can buy games at a deep discount.  We’ve bought many sports games from the previous version year $20-$30 less than the most recent version.  This will help save money in the long run. You can also sell games back when you are done and get cash back!  Some stores have rewards programs.  Take advantage where you can and score free games!

Believe it or not, you CAN have video game consoles in your house and still keep your sanity!

My Top 10 Favorite Movie Quotes

My Top 10 Favorite Movie Quotes

I love funny movies.  Here are 10 of my favorite funny movie quotes of all time.  Share yours in the comments!

“We got no food, we got no jobs… our PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”   – Lloyd Christmas, “Dumb and Dumber” (1994)

“Shampoo is better. I go on first and clean the hair. Conditioner is better. I leave the hair silky and smooth. Oh, really, fool? Really. Stop looking at me, swan.” – Billy Madison, “Billy Madison” (1995)

“The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.” – Peter Gibbons, “Office Space” (1999)

“Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.” – Ron Burgundy, “Anchorman” (2004)

“Hey, you! Get your damn hands off her!” – George McFly, “Back to The Future” (1985)

“Stupid cat? How could you say that? That cat’s been like a brother to you. And we’re supposed to just let him wander the streets without food, water or toilet?” – Jack Byrnes, “Meet the Parents” (2000)

Annie: Whatever you say ‘Stove’.

Flight Attendant Steve: It’s Steve.

Annie: ‘Stove’ what kind of a name is that?

Flight Attendant Steve: That’s not a name. My name is Steve.

Annie: Are you an appliance?

Flight Attendant Steve: No I am a man, and my name is Steve.

Annie: You’re a flight attendant.

Flight Attendant Steve: That is, absolutely accurate. You can close that.

– Annie & the flight attendant, “Bridesmaids” (2011)

“The price is wrong, b*tch.” – Happy Gilmore, “Happy Gilmore” (1995)

“How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?… Yeah… Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.” – Uncle Rico, “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)

“Name? Austin Danger Powers. Sex? Yes please!” – Austin Powers, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997)

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Why You Should Take a Disney Cruise

Why You Should Take a Disney Cruise

All of my posts may contain affiliate links.  I will earn a small commission to keep this blog running when you make purchases through these links. Thank you for your support!

In December of 2014 we had the pleasure of sailing aboard the Disney Wonder on a 4-day journey filled with tons of fun, food, sun and quality family time.  We left out of Miami, FL and took exciting excursions in Nassau and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.   You may wonder if a Disney Cruise is right for you and your family.  The answer is yes!  Here’s a recap of my experience aboard the ship:

Entertainment

Disney doesn’t disappoint on making sure both adults and kids alike have more than enough activities to occupy them aboard the ship.  Each night aboard the ship there were original productions, live acts, variety shows and even recently released movies for free!  When deciding to attend one of these shows, make sure to stop by and watch The Golden Mickeys – a show that covers the history and legacy of Walt Disney himself performed by very famous Disney characters.

Disney had great deck parties, fireworks, recreation, pirate night, Toy Story The Musical and much more.  There are 3 pools aboard the ship including a water slide and a separate area for the parents/adults with fully stocked bars!  The best part of the entertainment? Both kids and adults are equally entertained!

Character Encounters

What Disney attraction would be complete without meeting the stars?  There are many scheduled (and unscheduled) opportunities to meet characters from many Disney movies and shows.  You will want to pay attention to the schedule and make plans to arrive at the meeting location early as the lines tend to form quickly.  Some of the characters we got to meet aboard our ship were:  Mickey, Minnie, Elsa, Anna, Rapunzel, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Cinderella and the list goes on!  You can also meet characters while docked at Castaway Cay for cool photo opportunities!

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Dining

Disney has set up a rotational dining experience allowing all of the guests aboard to experience the 3 main dining rooms during the cruise.  Your servers for the week also follow you to each dining room along with a new menu of wonderful selections.  I was never disappointed with any of the food choices aboard the ship.

Child Care

Disney is by far the best cruise line I have been on in regards to the quality of child care.  There are separate areas depending on the age of the child and plenty of activities to entertain them while you are off doing adult activities.  You also get a phone assigned to you for the week in case there is an issue with your child.  I was very impressed with how nice and caring all of the child care workers were and regardless of how many kids they had they always remembered names.  Although our kids mainly ate with us during the main dining hours, it was nice to be able to check them in after the meals so that we could enjoy a glass of wine and dessert for an hour.

Accommodations

The staterooms aboard the Disney Wonder were fantastic.  Our state room was basic, but had plenty of room for all 6 of us to fit comfortably.  Even though our room was towards the back of the ship, Disney has an elevator or stairway nearby with helpful signs pointing you to your favorite activity or dining room.  At night, the crew does something special for the kids.  One night the towels were folded into animals and the next the kids’ Disney toys were specially configured into different poses.   The crew members were all especially courteous and always made sure we were taken care of in a moment’s notice.

Excursions

Our excursions were Nassau and Castaway Cay.  Disney gives you plenty of time at port to fully experience tropical paradise. In Nassau, we enjoyed a tour of the aquarium at Atlantis and enjoyed local shopping.

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Our family rented a private cabana while at Castaway Cay which had  a fully stocked refrigerator, snacks, lounge chairs and direct access to the beach.  Castaway Cay was by far the best of the two excursions as there was plenty to do on the island including a wonderful lunch outdoors and plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy.  Not to mention, it was very cool to chill on the beach in the warm sun or take a dip in the ocean in the middle of December!

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Have you been on a Disney cruise?  Share your experience in the comments!  

If you would like to do a guest post on your Disney cruise experience send me an email through my contact page.

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Will We Ever Sleep Again?

All of my posts may contain affiliate links.  I will earn a small commission to keep this blog running when you make purchases through these links. Thank you for your support!

Are you a parent struggling to get your child to sleep in his or her room every night all night?  Do you feel like you are never going to have a good night’s sleep? Are you ready to call Super Nanny? Do you keep a bottle of wine stashed away in your closet to cope with the cries and tears?  If you answered “yes” to any of those questions read the rest of this post!

As a dad to 4 little boogers I can say that I used to think that the day would never come to where my house would be a quiet house during the night. It will come eventually but you have to stay in control. Easier said than done, right?  Wrong!  I don’t claim to have all the answers and definitely don’t claim to be an expert in the sleep field, but I’ve had my share of the good, the bad and the snoozy when it comes to managing our family’s sleep pattern.  Here are three tips I’m going to give you that I have learned from my almost 10 years of parenting.  I hope that they are helpful and give you ideas that you may not have thought about before.  The bottom line is to remember why you are teaching your child the right way to fall asleep.  It’s for their own health, safety and mental well-being. Whatever routine you choose, don’t sway from it and don’t give in. It’s hard, my friend! But after all we are parents and it’s our role to instill this very important skill into our child. Good luck!

Create a Routine and Stick With It!

We humans are, by nature, creatures of habit.  Our babies, toddlers and elementary school-aged kids are too.  We have a nightly schedule that we try to adhere to with our gang, but as with any family things come up that get in the way of sticking to the schedule from A to Z every night – DON’T STRESS ABOUT THAT!  We also have to teach our children to be able to cope with things as they come up and be able to adjust.  If we refuse to allow any variety in their lives then we are holding them back from experiencing life to its fullest.

Our routine is:  Dinner, homework, bath, brush teeth then in bed between 8 and 8:30. Does this work every night?  Hell no!  Don’t punish your kids if they don’t adhere to the schedule at all times. The goal is not to turn them into a scene from “Groundhog Day.”  Throw in a grumpy kid, dinner out with family, Xbox, TV, unexpected errands, ballet, basketball and the list goes on – chances are you are going to have to occasionally adjust the schedule.  Change is good, but the important thing is to teach your kids how to manage the time they get to complete tasks and to learn what comes next. Eventually, your kids will come to expect the usual nightly events and go to bed on time. This doesn’t mean they won’t fight the routine. Trust me, they WILL!

Kids Sleeping Space vs Mommy and Daddy Sleeping Space

It’s important to teach our kids that there are boundaries in all aspects of life.  The marital bed is no exception. Whenever a child asks to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed we tell them that they sleep in their room and mommy and daddy sleep mommy and daddy’s room.  It’s very easy to cave in the middle of a work and school night and allow your child to sleep in the same bed, but that’s how good habits are broken and not-so-good habits are formed.  Establish boundaries early and often, and explain to your kids why you are establishing the boundaries. Tell them in a way that they will understand.

Encourage, Don’t Scold!

Children need to be encouraged when they are trying something new.   Not all will grasp the concept the first time around. That’s okay!  We all learn differently and on our own time.  The same goes for learning a new sleep habit.  We can’t expect an adult – let alone a child – to learn a new habit on the first try.  It will take time! Be patient, positive and encouraging. Encouraging your child with positive reinforcement rather than going the screaming and scolding route will work wonders. Besides, why are you screaming and losing control when you are trying to teach your child that bed time is a time when we are all quiet and settling in for the night?  Model the behavior you want your child to learn.

What have you tried in your house that has worked?  Post it here in the comments and let’s share ideas!

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