Member question:

How do you motivate your kids to go out of the house when all they want to do is play video games and FaceTime with their friends? My boys are 12 and 9 and all they want to do is stay home ?‍♀️.


Rachel’s response:

Your boys sound like so many kids these days! It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

Unfortunately there’s no magic button to make them WANT to go out of the house. Playing video games and doing Facetime feel good and kids crave what feels good. Plus, these behavior are the momentum they’re following right now. (Any momentum shift is difficult… That’s why if we haven’t exercised in a while it’s hard to start again. But once you get in the grove — build momentum — it’s easier to stay motivated.)

So if you want them to go out of the house, I would switch your focus from getting them to want to go outside to setting a limit and being consistent, even when it upsets them. I recommend making a regular “outside time” when they have to go outside, even when they don’t choose to. Expect their whines and complaints. And realize that those may or may not end. (Just like with exercise, sometimes we learn to enjoy it when we do it more regularly… and sometimes it remains a chore that we just do because it’s part of our routine).

Your job is to not let their whines and complaining prevent you from setting the limit that you believe is best for them… It’s easier if you simply expect that behavior to happen (it’s their way of releasing their Yuck). Focus on the fact that a parents’ job is to do what they think is right, not to make kids happy all the time!