One of the caveats to the grilling season is that it has to be decent weather outside. When dad cooks dinner outside, it’s a great opportunity for the kids to play outside as well. We’re already out there; so we can keep an eye on the kids and the steaks at the same time. Kids spend far too much time inside playing video games and surfing the net; so get them out in the fresh air when you can.
The Good Old Days
There was a time when kids actually went outside on a regular basis. We did it. We hated being cooped up inside the house all day when the sun was shining and the opportunity to play ball or climb trees was passing us by. These were the good old days before Xbox, cell phones and 500 cable channels. We had an Atari, three channels and cell phones (when someone actually had one) came in giant bags that you kept in your car for emergencies.
Take Time to Enjoy Your Kids Now
Kids are kids for only a short time. Pretty soon, they’re graduating high school and starting their lives. When they’re young and still think we’re Superman and Batman all rolled into one, take opportunities like this to play with them. Those hamburgers don’t need constant attention, but our children do. Play a few games of catch or basketball. Play tea party on the porch, hopscotch and double Dutch with them.
Barbecuing has to be done outside, but it doesn’t have to be solitary activity. Granted, dads are busy. We work, keep up the house, cook and do a million other things every day. It’s easy to tell the kids we’ll play with them tomorrow and then tomorrow becomes two weeks later. We’re outside anyway; why not take some time out for the kids?
Don’t Take No for an Answer
Parents aren’t the only ones who take things for granted. Kids do it even more because they don’t realize how fast time actually passes. When you tell the kids to turn off the Xbox or put down the cell phone, they might protest. There’s always a save point they need to find or a last text they need to answer. Don’t take no for an answer. They’ll grumble and complain for a few minutes, but once the sun is on their face and they’re having fun, the kids won’t even remember that Xbox anymore. They will remember time with their dad forever though.
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