Take away their cell phones. Turn off their computers. Kick 'em out in the woods. DOn't let them back in the house for a few hours.
When did childhood suddenly become an indoor activity? Drive through any "family neighborhood" on a Saturday and you'll be struck by one thing - the absence of children. They're all inside, playing with their xBoxes and Playstaions, and texting one another.
These are the children of the first generation of people whose childhood gave access to the Internet. It was a crude and somewhat clunky Internet back then, just a few years after Al Gore invented it (remember that one...oh, sorry, shouldn't have reminded you...).
The Internet, and digital "devices", have become all that was dreamed and more, and now the swingsets and slides, the forts in the woods and creek banks, sit silently under the lonely summer sun. The kids are gone, lured inside by the Brave New World that places all the world's knowledge, and much of its technological capability, in their hands.
The defense is that growing up this way is better preparation for the world in which they'll live. Undoubtedly true, but also a cheap and sneaky selfishness. They'll be better prepared to help maintain the world in which we live, through the beginnings of their careers...and we don't have to put the energy into teaching them the outdoor skills we may never have learned.
But something is lost when a child does not know how to whittle.
My boys are all blissfully happy to only come inside to get their food, then take it back outside with them.ReplyDelete
Not only can they whittle, they can build a shelter or lean-to. I give their father all the credit for teaching them all that manly stuff.
And give their mother credit for being supportive!Delete
I'll admit that I've done this too much myself, both being the one playing the XBox and letting my daughter play video games or watch tv. However, she'll do just about anything to spend some time with her dad on the back porch whittling.ReplyDelete
I see "the family", if you will, as another tool. In the right amounts with the "right stuff" it can be a powerful force for good. Too much of it, or too much of the "wrong stuff" and it will degrade and deteriorate our ability to think. For example, I've read more in the last few weeks using my new Samsung Tab then I have in the last few years; and yes, that includes studying for your classes.
Seeing the family as a tool is interesting, and I think it's a very powerful truth.Delete
And you hit another point squarely - that children want to emulate their parents. Your girl's lucky to have such good role models.