summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Saturday, July 25, 2015

free range parenting....

Where are all the kids? Drive through a neighborhood, and see all the empty streets! Those well-manicured lawns with the fancy play structures, empty! Where are the kids on bikes, roaming around looking for other kids to play a game of kickball?

When I was a kid, we could stay out until the street lights came on.

When my older kids were younger, they had no television, and when we got a computer, the nice fat desktop, it was the only one in the house, and it sat on a table in the living room, hogging the phone line when one was online. It was so easy to see who was doing what or instant messaging whom.

These days, kids have their iPods or phones and communication with each other on these devices are as vital to them as breathing. We have times here at home when we all put them away and to each other! I am mean sometimes, making kids get offline, stop playing video games, and DO SOMETHING ELSE. They are pretty good about it, but kids are people too, and people tend to take the path of least resistance, and amusing oneself online is just too easy.

My rant here is this: electronic devices are making us lazy and fat and apathetic about the world around us. Our whole lives are documented with pics on social media. But in it all, we need to actually relate to each other and LIVE.

I will continue to do my part to be a Mean Mom, to nag and get after them. Life is too short to spend it all in front of a screen. And on this note, goodbye for now!


Anonymous said...

bravo! it needs to be done...even for me. i am a facebook junkie and its unfortunate how much time i waste online. your kids will be better for it.

terre @ zoomamaspeaks

Cheryl said...

I agree!! I am thankful for technology because it allows me to get a glimpse of family on the other side of the world.. But we still need to actually live our lives actively!! And playing "in real life" is fun and necessary!! As is being together!!

Martha said...

"Come back when the street lights go one" seems to have been the general rule.
We played in the street, in our yard, in our friends' yards, in the narrow strip of woods between our neighborhood and the school. We rode bikes (and fell of them), sometimes we rode double or triple. We went to buy penny candy (which no longer exists) at he Webster Dairy (which also no longer exists)and if Mom wanted us home she stuck her head out the door and bellered out our names. It was a good life.

Lisa said...

I also agree 100%! I am the mean mom too! I know the world isn't the same as when we grew up. I understand why kids aren't as free to wander and learn the way we did - the consequences now seem almost unbelievable - but the answer isn't to isolate ourselves even more by living in our electronic worlds. I am by no means an electronics guru and am not raising my kids to rely on them for their sole entertainment, but it's such a slippery slope. I see kids become withdrawn and sullen when electronics are taken away (even temporarily) and I see the same thing when they're attached to them 24/7. It seems like a no brainer that we aren't doing our kids any favors by getting them the latest and greatest gadgets that give them the illusion that they know everyone and everyone is their friend. I absolutely hate going out to dinner with my hubby and looking around the restaurant to see everyone staring down at their screens. I continually ask, "what's the point of going out? You could do this at home alot cheaper!"