Monday, March 24, 2014


I've been reading a fair amount of articles and blogs lately about 'too much entertainment' for our kids.

I have to say........ I FULLY AGREE!

Where has imagination gone?

It's not uncommon to go ANYWHERE and see little bitty kids, some barely sitting up, with their noses pressed against the screen of a tablet. Little eyes blaring, little fingers fumbling at the screen.


Never mind the older kids with their phones, tablets, ipods. They rarely even look up. Some even walk while reading, texting, gaming.

It's insane.

Plus, it's commonplace to have our schedules filled.  Some might look like this:

Mon:  Park play date
Tue:  Swimming at the Rec. center.
Wed:  Soccer practice
Thur:  Piano lessons
Fri:  Movie night - in or out
Sat:  Zoo
Sun:  Jump and Play after church

That's an ENTIRE week of 'fun and activities'.

No down time.  No outdoor play.  NO IMAGINATION!

In my day, that amount of 'fun' would have been spread out over the course of a YEAR.  Maybe more. 
(exaggeration intended)

No wonder so many kids respond with 'I'm bored' when they have a day at home or the TV breaks or the iPad is charging.

I can't say we haven't been guilty of this ourselves.

Our kids have WAY more toys than they need. We do take them to the zoo and park on occasion (granted NOT weekly or daily).  We do allow them to play games on the computer. We do have Friday  night family movie night -- usually IN.

However, recently, we took most of our children's (especially the younger set) toys away.

You know what happened?

They. Began. To. Use. Their. Imaginations. Again!  Not that they didn't before, but it's on a whole new level now.

Selah has printed and cut out 'paper dolls' with which she and the other two girls make elaborate games and stories.

They go outside more.

They read books more.

They interact more.

It's fun.  It's new.  It's exciting.  It's IMAGINING at it's best.

And..... I LIKE IT!!

Not once have they asked for all those toys back.  Not once have they asked to 'go to _____________' whatever venue of entertainment you can think of.

They are enjoying 'playing', make-believe, being home.

What I'm not saying is I never hear 'I'm bored'.  Just last week I heard it twice - from 2 different littles.  Know how I responded?

"Go clean your room."

The first unsuspecting victim giggled nervously and said, "What?"

"Go clean your room.  You said you were bored. There's plenty to do.  Your room needs cleaned.  Go, now."

Reluctantly she meandered off and did, in fact, clean her room.

Another day, another "I'm bored" rolled out of one of the girl's mouths.

Without hesitation, the response was, "Go clean your room."

This time, no back talk, no shock, she remembered he sister's plight.  Off the couch she slid and down the hall she trotted and ...... clean her room she did.

You see, I knew that these 'I'm bored' statements were more a result of our rule of limited computer time each day than any lack of fun stuff to do.  These little manipulators were HOPING mom would give in and let them have a little 'extra' screen time.  Their ploy backfired.

We do need to stop 'entertaining' our kids all the time. They need to learn to occupy themselves. To find things to engage and inspire their brains that don't revolve around a screen of any size.

Want to join me?  Turn off the computers, the phones, the ipads, the ipods.  Send them outside. Send them to their rooms to read, clean.  Unschedule your calendar a bit.  Grab a board game and get playing.  Print out figures and have them play with paper dolls.

It'll be worth it.  It'll be GREAT!

Maybe, just maybe our kids can learn to be content where they are; to play and utilize their own imaginations rather than having it filled with the imaginings of others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I only check comments for spam.