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