Sunday, March 1, 2009

Growing up too early..

I am no expert in the field, but I have made an observation that effects kids growing up these days. When I was younger, I used to "go out and play" until I was probably 13 or 14. My brother Jerry and I would pretend we were International Government Agents and make our way stealthily to the neighborhood grocery store. (The IGA of course). We would role play and make life altering decisions in our play. We also would go to the "sandpile" and make golf ball tracks out of dirt. It would start out as a pile of dirt about 3-4 feet high that we could roll a golf ball down and around through tunnels etc. It required more important decisions like engineering and time management.

My point here is these days we expect our kids to grow up way too fast. Pier pressure and the internet don't allow a child to let their guard down and just have some old fashioned fun. By the time a kid is 10 or 11, they have to make decisions that really do effect their lives forever, not like our pretend decisions made during our play. They are worried about boyfriends and girlfriends, texting, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and countless other things I can't keep up with. They are computer experts and can download a song from Limewire to the computer and have it on the mp3 player quicker than I can get out the Scrabble board.

I guess the old days are gone forever. The kids these days will never experience the 101 fun things you can do with a stick. You have to admit there was a benefit to being able to fail during playtime and not during real life where it may leave a scar that will last forever. I know parents have good intentions signing a child up for piano lessons, dance class, soccer and then running around every evening and weekend to get them there. It just seems to me that some of life's loudest lessons are completely silent..

1 comment:

One Reader said...

It would be so nice if it felt the least bit safe to just let the kids "go out and play". I miss playing. Not with toys but just with whatever stuff we could find and imagine it into something.