What did we do for fun when we were kids?
Did we come home from school, spend 1/2 hours on homework and then take to the screen (phone, tablet, laptop)?
Did we spend hours during our holidays chatting with our friends online, playing games online,
relying on internet to communicate and entertain ourselves?
Did we lean much of our behaviour and language from online games and shows?
Little did we know the hours we spent building tree houses (not necessarily in trees), making up imaginary games with our friends or at times on our own, climbing trees, cycling our, walking half a mile to our friends house, baking cakes with mum (dad!!) or playing house for hours, truly believing those dolls were real babies – all of these activities taught us something.
The benefits to this type of play;
we learnt how to use our imagination
we played how to play with our friends by using our imaginations
we learnt how to beat our fears and eventually succeed in climbing that tree
to entertain ourselves without the help of technology
to be kids, to have fun, to be ourselves, to take chances and to be brave.
What has happened over the past 15/20 years. Kids need to have freedom to develop
emotionally and psychologically, they need to play with each other to learn the meaning of winning and losing and taking chances, they need freedom to learn how to be brave and to cope when things might not work out, kids need time without parents, to learn who they really are. We have become so obsessed with safety, work, academia and money and sometimes
over parenting that many of our kids are losing out. Kids need to be allowed to feel independent (age relative), to stretch their limits and be allowed to fall occasionally but they will always pick themselves up – they are very resilient little people – if they are allowed to be.
Try to encourage you daughter to climb that tree, to play on that new swing in the playground – without automatically warning her of the dangers. We tend to be more careful with girls, why is that? – some of the strongest, bravest people I know are women. If we want to raise brave
confident, successful, happy kids, we need to teach them and allow them to be brave, to try new things, to make mistakes and more importantly to teach them how to deal with those mistakes and to learn from them. We must allow them to be themselves even if that may be someone we did not expect (the singer rather than the gaa player, the artist rather than the accountant!). Try to help them to get to know who they really are. Teach them about life without technology and social media. They do need reminding as this is the world they are growing up in – what seems normal to them is not necessarily right. Help them to understand the reality of that online world to be able to balance their online world and their real world. Set age appropriate boundaries in your home, that suit your family, you know your kids better than anyone. But, most importantly, try to ensure that they have ‘time’ to be kids, to play, to explore, to use their imagination, to learn from their mistakes, and to appreciate life.
Our kids need to be brave and confident to survive this ever changing technologically run world. Try to give them the freedom they need to grow, show them how to enjoy life, to laugh out loud, to beat their fears, to be honest, loyal and trustworthy, show them by example – you will always be your child’s number 1 role model.
10 Things I Want My Kids To Know – findingjoy.net
1. Be Yourself
2. Don’t Waste Time Worrying
3. Appreciate the Little Things
4. Stand Up For Your Friends & Family
5. Don’t Whisper About Others
6. You Are Not Your Emotion
7. Always Be Willing To Learn
8. Pick Your Battles
9. Surround Yourself With Those Who Respect You
10. Be Brave