Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back When I Was a Girl. . .

Along the same lines of ruining summer for my children, today I am apparently doing so by insisting they play outside.

Imagine that.

Last week I went on a tirade about how when I was a girl, there wasn't any kid TV to watch during the day--we only watched a show here or there in the evenings (hello, Little House on the Prairie or Waltons, anyone?) or Saturday morning cartoons. We woke up, we ate breakfast, we went outside to play. We came home for lunch, we went back outside until dinner. Many days we went out again after dinner. That was our schedule if we didn't go to the pool all day. At any rate, I'm pretty sure that my Mom didn't know where we were most of the time.

Now, I know times have changed. It's not OK to not know where your kids are. TV and video games are always there as a temptation. And frankly, there aren't always a lot of kids around the neighborhood during the day. In most of the houses on our street, both parents work, and kids are in daycamps. Things pick up in the evenings when we're wanting to wind down. Figures.

But how can it be more fun to sit in front of the TV or play video games than to be outside, making up your own games? Having adventures? Exploring? Using your imagination?

I find if I wait long enough for them to get bored, they come up with something. Sometimes the something causes work for me, like a lemonade stand or craft, but other times they are spies, detectives, or making up a game that makes sense only to them.

Note: They just came in and asked if they could take the Nintendo DSi outside because it was integral to their spy game.

I didn't fall for it.

They are outside counting down the minutes until they can come in for lunch. I just know it. Sigh.


Mommy, I'm Home said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who kicks their kids outside in the summer. Of course, right now, the kid is doing art with SpongeBob on in the background...

sheila said...

Well, if you lock the doors, they can't come in until you let them in! Yes, I remember the days of taking off in the morning, running in to make a honey samich and out again until supper. Then we could stay outside until the street lights came on. Oh, the memories. Will our kids look back on their childhoods with the same fondness?

Cynthia said...

Reminds me of the days when the Owens and Garvin girls played "store" in our backyard, school with leftover dittos (kids don't even know what thos are anymore), or if it was rainy, perhaps a bit of "Mean Brenda" was in order (Do you remember that my husband's name was always Steve when we played that?). Other days it was the pool and a trip to Tuller's for donuts and cider! Memories. It wasn't that long ago was it? Hope your boys find fun things to do!

Anonymous said...

My kids are outside with the neighbors playing "Deerhunter".

But, I want to know how to play "Mean Brenda". Sounds like my kind of game!!! Do tell!


Lisa said...

Soooo true, Natalie! I, too, am a mean mom whose main goal in life is to make my children miserable! LOL

1dreamr said...

That's funny - this very subject came up tonight at Happy Hour... what happened to the good old days of playing outside all summer instead of sitting in front of TV/ video games!?

Hell, we were gone from morning until dusk, with quick stops at home for lunch and dinner... and {{{gasp}}} we weren't even wearing bike helmets! How did we survive??

Even better question -- when did I become my mother and why are we talking about the "good old days" at Happy Hour?! Frightening!

PS - I just have to mention that the word verification I'm being asked to type in order to post this comment is "pricks" ... seriously! What's up with that!?