Ahhh… summertime. Do you remember that feeling you had as a kid on the last day of school? The joy in thinking about the countless ways to spend your days doing whatever you wanted? The endless possibilities? Remember when it was okay to be gone all day, come home in time for dinner and continue to play until the street lights came on? Do you remember the endless games of four square, double-dutch and tag? And when you tired of the same ol’, same ol’ inventing your own games with ridiculously lengthy rules and far too many safe zones?
I do. I remember it like it was yesterday: those hazy, hot summer days. The sunburn, the scrapped knees, the tree-climbing injuries.
When my daughters were little we spent most of our summer days outside. Whether at the pool or the park, outdoor concerts or family bike rides, we took advantage of every warm, sultry day we had. Our evenings were spent taking long walks around the neighborhood or playing outside until bath time. And when they were older and bored with just my company, they were enrolled in day camps with their friends playing outside, making crafts and learning to swim.
Video games didn’t enter our home until the Wii came into being and luckily it was at Christmas. This gaming device provided our family with loads of indoor family entertainment when below zero temps made playing in the snow impossible. In the summer it collected dust except for the occasional rainy day.
So when I saw this video it left me wondering how we escaped the video game obsession. Don’t get me wrong. My daughters would rather have cavities filled without Novocaine than part with their iPhones. But video games have never been a popular past time. I often think it’s because they are girls and so many of the games are geared toward sports, warfare and strategy. My girly girls enjoyed Mario Kart and Raving Rabbits but these games could not hold their interest for very long.
It breaks my heart to hear that there are kids out there that feel more comfortable playing video games than socializing, even with their families. I don’t usually blog posts asking questions, but this one has me fired up.
What do you do to find a balance between technology use and family time? And what tips do you have to “nurture the nature” in your own kids?