Working with kids in schools these past weeks, and indeed having five children of my own, has alerted me to the seemingly unprecedented obsession with the new online game Fortnite. Not since Pokémon Go has something seemed to take the world by storm, leaving parents wondering when it will ever stop.
Like many parents, I struggle with kids and screen time, most notably with computer games. I set time limits on play, check games are age-appropriate, ban devices from the bedroom and offer all sorts of alternative play and activities … but still get disheartened that my two boys would rather race virtual cars and navigate imaginary worlds than kick a football around or build Lego.
If your kids constantly fight with each other, then don’t despair. All that emotional energy isn’t going to waste.
According to a recent study, sibling fights teach kids important conflict resolution skills. In fact, parents who stop their children from arguing may well be depriving them of important learning opportunities.
A few years ago, I received a beautiful hand-made Mother's Day card from my eight-year-old entitled "Mum I love you because ...". Inside he had written an impressive two paragraphs extolling my ability to unstack dishwashers frequently and efficiently. How I felt loved! Clearly his love-language was 'acts of service'.