When I was a kid I didn't walk to school uphill both ways, but I did walk. I walked in the snow, in the rain, when I was sick and once with a sprained ankle. We all carried our books in our arms because book bags were for sissies. And when it rained, nobody had an umbrella or a ride home.
I never once heard Mom say, “Hi sweetie, I'm here to pick you up 'cause it's raining. Here are your headphones so you can watch a movie on the ride home.” And somehow I think I’m much better off having never heard it.
We no longer build tree forts, we buy them. We don’t watch movies with our kids at the drive-ins. Instead, we drive while our kids watch movies. We control our kid's free time and read eHow.com articles like “How to Plan the Perfect Play Date.” Every morning I join the climate-controlled car line at the bus stop. Is anyone else disgusted?
We all know that unstructured play is instrumental in the development of a well adjusted child, but still we follow the masses to soccer signups and cheer tryouts. Why should our children be left out? What choice do we have? The Let Kids Just Play article written by Berkley.edu confirms that “unstructured play time is actually more important than homework.”
So, how can I combat this parental trend without ostracizing my kids from all of their friends? I have no idea, but for the next week, I’m going to use Mom’s translations for all my common parenting phrases:
|I would say||Mom would say|
|“Time for your Play Date”||“Get outside and don’t come in ‘till dinner.”|
|“You need a Time Out”||“You’re in deep shit.”|
|“Organized Sports”||“Summer Rec, Pickup games and Curb-Ball”|
|“Helicopter Parent”||There’s no translation. Abstinence is the only choice.|
Sorry to cut this post short, but I’ve gotta get to the bus stop to pick up the kids. After all, it's raining, their book bags are heavy, and we have some play dates to plan.
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