Some of my kids are avid readers. (They got that from me!) As a kid I would take the bus downtown to the library, check out a stack of books, read them and go back for more. I loved mysteries! I was hooked on Sherlock Holmes. That habit has continued as an adult, although I often buy my books now instead of borrowing from the library. I get into Book Series’ a lot. I like to read a series from the start. I tried a kindle, and I must admit that it is convenient, but it just isn’t the same as having your hands on a book. Every vacation, I take a stack of books with me and read to my heart's content. As I said, some of my kids enjoy reading. Some would read more if they had the time. Others, like Pook will not pick up a book unless forced to. It is as if he is afraid that it will burst into flames in his hands. Some of the kids have had to read so much during high school and college that they have forgotten that a book can be read for pure enjoyment!
I was the evil mom when the kids were growing up. I simply did not allow them to have gaming systems in the house. I think the boys each got one when they were seniors in high school and on their way to college. Oh yes, they purchased it with their own money. I simply refused. So yes, I am that mom who just didn’t get it and let my children wander through their teenage years clueless as to the battles that were being waged by Avatars throughout the universe. Calvin tried to convince me (on behalf of his brothers) that we were sacrificing hand/eye coordination by depriving them of these devices. I know a lot of parents put their kids on video games (I am sure that is the incorrect term!) to keep them busy, quiet and out of the way.
Here is what I have noticed, however. When my kids played games for more than one hour, their ability to socialize disappeared! They became obstinate, rude and combative. I no longer saw the imaginative play that existed before. It simply wasn’t worth it to me.
I did not want to live life without the “Surprise” dressing up in costume based on the last movie he had watched. (I think my favorite was The Patriot). I loved it when he would start the morning with breakfast and then go outside in full military gear and scout the property. You would see his head pop up periodically in the ravine. He would come in for lunch and give me the “All Clear”.
Doesn’t anyone else remember playing all summer long outside with your friends, drinking from a garden hose, riding bikes, roller skating with those skates you attached to your shoes with the key that hung on your neck, playing baseball or basketball. Does anyone else remember just talking to people? How about chores? Does anyone hand out chores to their kids or do they just buy them whatever they want?
Today, as summer approaches, I challenge parents to take away the video games (or at least severely limit them), turn off the TV, give your kids a few chores, and send them outside for some good old fashioned physical activity. I challenge moms and dads to spend time with your kids, take them fishing, hiking, to the library. The time you spend with them does not have to be expensive, but it will enrich all of your lives incredibly! You may find that you actually enjoy each other! You will make a wonderful connection that you will all treasure forever!!!! Make this summer the best yet!!!!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!