Are your children frequently saying, “I’m Bored” While I say, When I was your age, I went out at the crack of dawn and didn’t come back until the street lights were on. Yes, I am one of those parents. My children are sorely aware of the fact that we never had video games, cable TV or computers. We had to entertain ourselves, and yes, we liked it. And we were rarely bored.
A typical Saturday for me included a “wake up” by my mother, even though there was no school. No sleeping in at our house, unless my mother craved a bit of quiet time as she started her day. A home cooked breakfast followed, paired with a bit of Bugs Bunny after finishing our meal at the table. But once these few cartoons were over, the TV went off and we were pushed towards the door. Again. We liked it and most of the time, not bored.
Once outside our imaginations went wild. What could we build? Where could we ride our bikes? What world could we pretend to be in today? Often times our adventures resulted in the need for the occasional Band-Aid, applied by the closest mother on the block. We played hard and a little blood never hurt even the weakest of us. Today, if any of our neighborhood kids take a fall, including my own, you would think the world was coming to an end.
In my own household there have been many weeks when computers and video games were banned. The result? Children walking around like zombies moaning, “I’m bored! I have nothing to do!”
I’ve taken my kids on camping trips, canoe rides and beach excursions. Single-handedly! They know how to use pocket knives, build a fire and catch a fish. But when given the chance, they gravitate towards a computer before they gravitate towards the outdoors. Where did I go wrong?
Is my problem the fact that electronics are everywhere, no matter where you go? There are smart boards in the school, video games in every friend’s house and Wi-Fi in every building you enter. I’ve been on many camping trips when my kids became friends with a nearby camper who had their hand held video games in tow. What is a mother to do.
How do your children play today compared to your own childhood? Are you forever fighting the electronic age, or do you embrace it with success in your home? Do your children even know the phrase “Olly Olly In Come Free,” or do they need to Google it? I tested this recently and sadly, one of mine Googled it. I am really trying. Honest!