Last week I allowed the boys to spend their entire first week staring at their video games. Epic mom fail alert! The whites of their eyes started to get bloodshot! Summer is here!
We have friends visiting from Sweden and on the first day, their young children woke up, had breakfast and ran outside. Mine slept in and later grabbed their game controllers. I had to ask myself some difficult questions. Why did I think it was OK to leave them to their own devices just because my boys are older? Older doesn’t necessarily mean they engage in productive activities, it simply means they are easier to ignore. Truth!
When they were younger it was absolutely imperative that I plan outings. Trips to the park, trips to the pool or outdoor activities drawing with chalk and riding their bikes were a daily occurrence. As they got older they started to bicker, push back and drag themselves slowly out of bed. At the same time I simply got tired of planning things and literally FIGHTING them to put on their bathing suits or get out of bed. I GAVE UP!
I had to sit down and explain that to truly “live,” you had to fill your time up with experiences, not things. We surprised Ryan with a birthday trip to NYC and we shut down Max’s iPad for the first time yesterday. Ryan can’t stop talking about N.Y. and Max beat his mom, yours truly, at Monopoly and couldn’t stop smiling. I casually left some other board games out and caught Ryan playing SORRY! with his friend later that evening. The trampoline was cleaned off and the boys went outside and wound up gazing up at the sky and talking for a couple of minutes before it started to rain.
There’s a greater lesson here. How many times are you on Facebook in one day? How many times do you look at your phone? Experiences in life are what makes you grow as a person. Technology is really great but can also encourage you to be a passive observer in your own life.
It’ summer! Let’s fill our time up with experiences so that we have stories to tell, not videos to post or stuff to show. This message is for all of us, those with children and those without children. Have an adult college student? He or she needs to get a job. That’s the activity you plan with that child!
Today the kids have plans to go to the pool with a friend and I’m heading off to the dementia care home.
Go out and LIVE.