Children Playing: A Lost Art?
It is sad that in our day and time children seem to have lost the art of playing. I grew up in Michigan and we would stay out until the street lights came on. In the summer the neighborhood kids would get together and play kick-the-can, baseball, or just see how many daddy long leg spiders we could accumulate. In the winter it was snow forts, ice skating on a pond, or sledding. I had so much fun playing outside I hated to come in, even to use the bathroom. When the weather wasn’t conducive to playing outside then we played board games, school, house, or read books. I also I spent many hours trying to find the tunnel my older siblings had told me they dug that went all the way to Florida. Oh the joys of older siblings.
Then I raised my own three children. Yes, there was TV and Xbox, but I limited their use which made my children use their imaginations and play. They would make up shows, and I would be their audience. They would make up little routines to songs and perform them for family (check out the hilarious video of my girls performing Father Abraham). One time the girls dressed up their brother in disguise, and they had him knock on the front door. I didn’t even recognize my own son. They were always coming up with something creative to do.
I believe that children today feel entitled to be entertained. Gone are the long summer days of catching fire flies, playing kickball in the yard, or just simply trying to find that four leaf clover. Of course, safety factors play a role too. Parents don’t always have the time to sit outside to keep an eye on their children, so they relinquish them to the TV, computer, or video games to keep them entertained, and to not have to hear the words, “I’m bored,”
I can’t help but wonder what kind of impact this is having on the minds of our children. Will the art of playing become a thing of the past as our society becomes more of a dangerous place and more technologically driven?
What are your thoughts?