Many people write these days about how kids spend the majority of their time on electronic devices, but there are still those kids that play outside. If I could take away some of the computers, mobile phones and game systems, I probably would, but sometimes they are kind of nice to have around, I’ll admit. Sometimes, kids do actually learn something from them, but other times, they just waste an extraordinary amount of time on them. I know from personal experience with my own kids, but let’s go back to explore what we did when I was young and compare.
When I was young, I spend my days outside playing for the most part. I was a normal child who loved playing with my neighborhood friends. We would ride our bikes, play soccer, make believe that we were in other worlds, play tag, catch lightening bugs. We had a blast! We would wander around the neighborhood and just go from house to house playing with each other and gathering more friends often times. We would also play inside our friends’ houses, too and play board games, although I still don’t care for Monopoly, play Barbies, play house and make believe we were on board a rocket ship headed for Jupiter.
Some of my friends, including my husband’s family, had an Atari 2600. There were times we played that as well, but we didn’t spend tons of time playing it. You see, the graphics weren’t great, like today, and we had other things that we liked doing. My husband was so good at Pitfall. I was enthralled and amazed at his skill. I eventually got an Atari, but I had only Combat and Pacman for it. I loved it, but again, I had other things to do with my time as well. It was on a small, black and white TV but I did love that Atari. It was mine, until dad did something while playing it and the darn thing broke. That ended my Atari life.
The thing is, we didn’t live for our game system. We weren’t allowed to eat, sleep and breathe video games and there simply weren’t that many games to play. Prior to the Atari, the system of it’s day, there had been Pong. I also loved playing that at my cousin’s when I visited. We had a life outside of games.
Our family just got a used video game system for Christmas, which my son adores. If he had his way, he’d play it all the time. The Boy loves playing football on the system most of all. We don’t allow him to play it all the time, which he has gotten better about since the weather has gotten nicer. He still loves to play outside and with his friends. I’ve talked to him about staying inside vs. playing outside. I will say that if there is a knock on the door, he knows his friends’ knocks and runs off to play immediately. He’s just like I was at that age.
The kids these days are not as active as when I was a kid on a whole, but perhaps they aren’t allowed to run around outside like we were as kids either. I’m very thankful that my kids are like me and have been active kids. Sure, I was very active and my son is the most active of my kids. He’s just like his parents who never stopped going as kids.
I’m so blessed that I had such a great childhood. I had everything I could have ever needed or wanted. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what child does? I always had plenty of really good food to eat, a roof over my head, a fantastic backyard to play in, good friends to play with and a family that loved me. What more could a little girl ever ask for. Kids need love, food, shelter and the great outdoors. I provide this for my children and I work very hard to do so. I also have happy and healthy kids because of it. How could I ask for anything more. Perhaps everyone should encourage their children, like we do, to get outside more and enjoy life and their imaginations like we do. Their kids will thank them for it, eventually!