Time to get my children Back Outdoors
Do you remember being a child?
Someone who would be a little rough and tumble, someone who would get several knocks at the door of their home from friends wanting to play outdoors.
I remember a lot about my childhood, this makes me smile because my memories are fun thoughts of my outdoor activities. I used to head on over to the park or walk to the shops just to feel independent. On some occasions, I would go out for the entire day, no mobile phone nothing else but a bottle of water and my friends. I would return later in the evening as the sun was going down, feeling as though I had been gone for days, not a matter of hours.
My parents never seemed to be too worried that something may have happened to me, My dad is very protective over his daughters and even he was very relaxed. It is upsetting that part of my worry currently has stopped me being as relaxed, part of me hates the thought of letting my kids out of my sight for a second. This may well be because happenings are so quickly spread around the internet or in the media in a flash. Surely, half of the behaviour that goes on within the current generation has been there for some time before, our parents probably walked around thinking everything was hunky dory.
My Worries about Children now
Why do I bring this up? It is because I am slightly worried about how our children and what their memories will be of when they are older and look back at there childhood. Kids these days most certainly do not seem to have the same amount of real friends that we probably had. Yeah, they have friends online, but they do not have anyone who comes to the house and wants to play outdoors. When I tell my kids about how great of a childhood I had, they just look at me as though I am talking to them in a language they do not understand.
So, Why do I mention this?
I initially started thinking about this a few weeks ago now, when I walked my youngest child home from school. Why did I start to think about this? Because as I walked through the local estates, I realised there were no children playing out in the streets, which I found a shame.
Do Children even play out anymore?
If they are anything like my children, they will be rushing to get home and attempt to sit for endless hours on their computers. I rarely have children knocking at the door and likewise I never have my youngest child asking to go call for his friends.
The funny thing is, my children have many friends, but these friends live all around the world. I walk past my son’s bedrooms and hear them happily chatting and playing online. This gives me very much mixed emotions, on one hand, I am happy they have friends no matter what the form, but on the other hand, I am upset that they do not automatically think to themselves “Oh it’s nice outside, I might go call on a friend”.
I know some parents limit their children to internet access, which is an amazing thing I and I wish I had done this a long time ago. My eldest son who is 17 has actually started going places on his own accord, but my youngest is still showing no signs and I feel a little push may well be necessary.
Plans for change
My plans are to begin to limit his internet access and get him more involved with local friends, this used to happen before I got Ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) and Function Neurological disorder (FND), I just could not take them places as often as I used to. This was because I became so tired and felt down about myself and part of me thought as long as the kids were safe and I had no choice but to rest.
Regardless of my illnesses, I now know that my youngest son is going to stop using the internet so much, and start to get outside more. We are going to start this week by limiting his internet usage. He enjoys playing card games and even exploring, so we are going to begin to do some walking, my husband’s shifts have not helped in the past, but he is totally on board with this idea, and is prepared to put extra effort into making this happen.
Although his friends online may very well miss him being around straight after school, I am sure they will enjoy one another’s company even more during the time he has to speak to them in future.
I will begin to cut the apron strings and allow him a little more freedom as part of the deal. He will be able to go a little further than the end of the street “Not much though”, when his friends come around to play I will allow them to mess his room up and not complain.
I would love to add, I do not think any of this is our children’s faults, I believe the world we live in is making it hard for them to be a child, They have grown up in a technology driven world.
By summer time, I aim to have my youngest son a lean, mean playing machine, who enjoys his summer similar to the way we enjoyed ours.
A Little Double Standards
I must say I feel some double standards here, as a write this post I have my mobile phone and laptop in front of me…. I may need to change this for a short while too.
I will keep you all informed of how we do!
I would love to know if you have similar problems with your children.