Bowling With Children – A Cautionary Tale

Hands up people who have never been bowling. *Crickets chirping* What?!? Everyone’s been bowling? Am I the only douche still alive who hasn’t gone for some knock ‘em down? I guess so. But we aren’t here to talk about my parents’ supreme criminal negligence. So it is giving me great pleasure today to introduce our latest guest author, Liz Madeley. Liz has written a hilarious post outlining everything you should and shouldn’t do when you take your little ‘uns bowling. So while I go and remedy my douchiness you all go and read some of what Liz has written. Continue Liz…

The evenings are dark and it’s cold outside but that doesn’t stop the evergreen complaint that can be heard around our house, particularly during school breaks and weekends. You might have heard it before – it’s said in a particular pitch of whining, usually when you have finally managed to grab 5 minutes to yourself to relax:-

“Mo—omm! I’m bored!”

It’s normally the above, coupled with a particularly unreasonable demand, which jolts me out of peacefully reading my book (will I ever get past chapter 2?) when I’ve just settled down from washing up / doing laundry / feeding the cat / vacuuming / cleaning the bathrooms, etc.

Feeling particularly energetic the other weekend, I decided that the best approach was to tackle the problem head on, taking the children somewhere a little different – somewhere which I thought might actually tire them out: bowling.

What followed was harrowing enough for me to want to sit down and recount my learning in the hopes that other parents may find it easier the next time they are faced with entertaining their children at a bowling alley. Here goes nothing:-

1. Make the children aware that they are going to have to change shoes at the alley.

My 5 year old daughter is excessively proud of her new, pink princess shoes which we recently purchased and has been showing it to almost everyone we meet.  It should have crossed my mind that this could be a problem, when a teenager behind a counter wanted to take them away.

If you want to avoid 15 minutes of explaining that your beloved really will get her shoes back and that the bowling shoes are just as pretty, get them informed beforehand.

2. Put the side-bumpers up.

My husband, the sporty one, insisted that it would be good for our children boy and girl aged 7 and 5 respectively to play bowling like adults do. This stems from his unwavering belief that we have somehow spawned future Olympians, despite a good deal of evidence to the contrary.

Several gutter balls, one angry outburst, a spattering of tears and quite a few stomped feet later he finally swayed and asked for the side bumpers to be put up. The game was more enjoyable after this.

3. Help them with a bowling technique that will knock some pins down.

Children need guidance when bowling. Sounds simple enough, but again, dear husband insisted on letting our 7 year old attempt to bowl by himself.

The couple in the lane next to us assured us that they accepted our apology, and that they found it amusing, when said 7 year old let go of his ball on the back swing, hitting the gentleman on his shin.

Just get the bowling ball guide set up and let them roll the ball down the slope and save yourself a lot of bother!

4. Don’t let them eat sweets the entire time.

Okay, I am not trying to write a post complaining about my other half, but the bowling alley had sweet dispensers all over the place and he was very free with the coins needed to operate them. Consequently we had two children complaining of being nauseous all the way home!

Let the children have a small treat, but don’t let them spoil their dinner!

On the serious side, overall we had a great time ten pin bowling and I would recommend it for a family outing – but as with all family entertainment – make sure that you don’t leave the common sense at home.

On the other hand, if you are taking a large group of children for a bowling party, it might be better to leave it to the professionals and organise it through the alley itself!

About the Author:-

This is a post from Lizzybita, mother of 2 children plus one cat and wife of one very lovely but occasionally trying man. When not writing about the trials of family life, she can also be found attempting to cook healthy meals, tackling never-ending housework, trying to chill out with yoga and – oh yes – copywriting.



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