Friday, July 17, 2009

Inside vs Outside: Put the gadgets Down!

I think I've got the Summertime blues. Money is beyond tight right now so there isn't much to do and the kids keep looking at me to come up with something. Since event planning is not something I'm good at I just go by what I know to do, I tell them, "Go outside and play!" They look at me with blank expressions and they ask, "What do we do out there?" OMG, what happened to our kids? Why is it that they don't know what to do outside? They will look out the window and stare but, that's it. I have to literally kick them out!
Outside play competes with PSP's, Nitendo DS, Wii, Playstation 2 & 3, ExBox 360, IPods, Mp3's, oh and good ole' Television shows (there are tons), etc., Now mind you I don't own all these gadgets but, I'm aware of them. We have a few but, of course they want more! They have board games, however, they're so dusty I think they have Mold (see last post). I am so concerned that our kids today our becoming tech junkies, pretty soon the pharmaceutical companies will have them on some kind of meds so that they can cope without their gadgets! My 11 year old is begging me, no wait he is torn, between begging for an IPod touch or a PSP this X-mas! He wants nothing else, yikes!!! I know I'm old school so I sent them outside first, for good old fashion fresh air and some inside good ole' fashion chores:

Then I got even savvier, I decided after talking it over with my hubby that it was time to let them explore the neighborhood. They've been wanting to take a walk through it for so long and I have been holding on to them scared of every story I've ever heard on the news! My husband said, "Babe it's time to let them go!" I looked at him thinking of all the bone headed decisions I've allowed him to make in the past, I instantly had a memory recall! Like the one where we bought bunk beds from Ikea and my oldest baby was like 4! The big red label on the bunk bed reads, You must be 7 before sleeping on the top bunk! What do you think my dearest does? He says, "Oh, he'll be alright let him sleep up top." I did and somewhere around 4 am an earthquake sounding thud wakes us up and there is my baby lying on the floor crying because he fell out. There I am at 4:10am sitting in the hospital looking at my husband wanting to bash him in the head with anything I could put my hands on!
Ok, so anyhow, I relived that moment I'm sorry I'm back:)
I, no we, decided to let them go for a walk, I of course stalked them because that's just me:)

While they were on there wondrous journey in the new world they took these delightful photo's this is Pete (they named him) the dead squirrel!

Here is Bob (clearly I must need to get them a live pet) as he lay by the curb! They were so excited by their expedition that they are planning on going out today for more exploration!

Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone with these photo's of Pete and Bob, I'm just an ecstatic mom, who's kids put down the DS, stopped playing the Wii, stopped arguing over who's next on the PlayStation, stopped asking me can we go bowling, swimming, movies, (all of which require money) etc!!!

They just went outside and loved all of the wondrous creations that are out there:) All they want to do today is grab a quick bite get their water bottles (Thank God) and go walking! I don't know how long this will last but, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it while it's here! By the way I did get busted following them but, they didn't care they just kept on walking:) I'll be more stealth like today:)
I would love to hear your thoughts on the state of our kids today, inside gadgets vs outside joy's?


Janet said...

Just stopping by from SITS. Happy Saturday Sharefest!

This is a great posting, and I totally agree that kids today are missing out on all the great stuff we used to do just "playing outside." Great job getting your kids to be so enthusiastic about taking walks around the neighborhood!

The Redhead Riter said...

I believe in keeping kids involved in sport like activities at least part of the time because 1)they are more physically fit 2)they are healthier 3)they gain an appreciation for their bodies 4)they do not have idle time to do things they are not supposed to do. There are free programs for fitness activities, so try enrolling them! They NEED to play outside!
Stopping by from SITS.
◄Happy Saturday Sharefest!►

Unknown Mami said...

Your kids are beautiful!

I think it's great that they are enjoying exploring their surroundings hopefully it will become a habit.

I go for walks with my husband all the time and I love it. If you are used to doing it, you become antsy if you don't do it for awhile.

QueenBee said...

I really can relate to when my mom sent us outside to play. She told all 4 of us girls to pee before we went out because we weren't coming back in and then she gave us a jug of ice water (the jug that once held milk). My sisters and I sat under the shade tree, played school, pretended we were cheerleaders and so much other stuff we even made up. The play without the gadgets makes it more fun. What happens if the electricity went out and ghe gadgets couldn't be charged, then what. It causes for more memories when they grow older.

Carlotta said...

Oh my goodness, I just went through this exact same thing today, again!! I always complain to my hubby that they have way too much external stimulation. I want them to learn how to find ways to entertain themselves the way I did with my friends growing up in NY, outside. I even call out games to them that they can play. Hide and go seek, kick the can, hop scotch, 7up, lots of different games. They look at me like I'm crazy, no idea what I'm talking about. They don't even play those cool hand clapping games I used to play. Children these days are deprived of good ole fun in the sun. So when we have good weather days like today, thanks to the rain there was little heat and humidity, I kick them out of the house to find something, anything to do. And after they realize all their whining is not going to get them back in the house, they find something to do and start having fun!


thischicksgotstyle said...

Great pictures!!


Wifey said...

Good for you for making them play outside. Love it! And, the first picture of them is beautiful. I'll take mine via e-mail please!

Winks & Smiles,

Circular Logic said...

I grew up in rural Western NY where we spent our days building forts, making up games, and catching crayfish in the creek. I think my husband used to do that, too (he grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi), but he's become quite the techie and, sadly, a lot of our time these days is spent indoors. Now we live in the middle of a (very small) city, so there's not a ton of nature exploration to be done, so I worry a little bit about our kids not having the opportunity to go out and get dirty like I did.

As I read your post, I thought of something that really doesn't seem connected to what you wrote, but it makes sense in my mind... My parents took my brother's three sons (Nate-8, Trey-5, Caleb-4) to an event where people from Joyful Rescues, a local animal rescue place, were set up, and my nephews loved hearing the stories about the rescued animals. I told my mom that even at their young ages, it probably wouldn't hurt to get them interested in doing some type of community service. The boys were shocked to learn that some people hurt animals, so I said that this is a good time to make a lesson out of it. I've been an animal lover since I was a little, little kid, so I used to make those friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss, sell them at school, and then donate half of the money to the SPCA and keep half of the money to buy more supplies. My classmates liked having bracelets with our school colors or in colors of their favorite sports teams, and they also liked knowing that they were helping animals with the money they spent on the things I made.

As a guidance counselor, I tell my students to find someone or something they can help, and help it! Go out and pick up litter, help an elderly neighbor do yard work, make something and then sell it to raise money for a charity they care about (animal shelter, soup kitchen, etc...). Activities like that keep them occupied and also make them aware that all around us, there is need, and at the end of the day, they get that great feeling of having helped someone. Very cool!

Moms Fighting Fat said...

Ms. Wanda, those pictures are awesome. I'm thrilled that you're children are having fun exploring the neighborhood. We're not into sports over here but we have a pool...thank goodness, and the kids' play outside a lot when they have friends over or they're at their friends. Mine prefer to play outside a lot more in the Spring, Fall and Winter here in FL, and are physically fit and healthy so I never worry whether or not they're getting enough outdoor time.

Have a beautiful day ~ Sandy

Michaela said...

Stopping by from SITS and wanted to say hi!
Poor Pete and Bob! I'm glad your kids had some good old fashioned fun away from the gizmos and gadgets.

Womanatwork said...

Hey Ms Wanda, I've tagged you on a Meme over at mine.

Kristin said...

Aren't they sweet that they named that poor little fellow.

MOMSWEB said...

I guess I'm lucky to have boys that enjoy the outside. I have to make them come in when it gets dark! They do have the electronic games, but have limited hours a day to play - I can't STAND those games, but it's today's world and times have definitely changed.
This post was funny, Ms. Wanda and the picture of Pete ---oh my goodness! May I have a warning next time, please!

Ms. Wanda said...

Hello, to all Love all the comments:) Thank you so much!!!! Ok, M&W I'm going to do a disclosure next time:)

Yet said...

hehe! Kids? Do you know that I have to do to get my BF to stop playing video games or sitting at the computer desk? It's crazy. But, I feel you! I sooo understand. My nephew understands more about computers and technology than i do...and I'm in college!! hehe

Dozen Senses said...

-first time visit, taking it all in & smitten!

Michelle said...

What an awesome post!! I too stalk, erm, follow, my kids on their walks around the neighborhood. As I tell them - it's not that I don't trust them, it's the other people I don't trust!

They are definitely followign in your footsteps by going outside and being active instead of lying around the house playing video games all day! Great job mama!

Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!

What a lovely blog you write!

I often wonder the same thing. I'm a Baby Boomer, and remeber leaving the house about 8 am on summer days and not coming home until dinner. No cell phones to check in. My mom stayed home. Maybe I'd come home for lunch.

There were a ton kids in the neighborhood, we'd ride bikes, climb trees at the green, go to the local swimming hole, go to the park, go over each other's houses (all our moms stayed home & didn't work).

Now it's so sad - I drive home from the office in the early afternoon on a summer through neighborhoods, and not see a single kid outside playing. No bikes in the yard, no hoops - nothing.

I've even asked my DH "where are all the kids?" and he says the same thing - inside playing.

Or maybe they're at camps. Kids just don't have the same free-time play anymore that we did. It's either all-structured, or they're inside with those dang electronic games.

Sad. Really sad.

God's Favorite Shoes! said...

I don't even really know where to start. Kids (i'm only 33 lol) have lost touch with reality. The fact that my niece would rather play a hoola hoop game on the WII rather than using a reall hoola hoop should say it all!

Gary Heller said...

Hi there, stumbled upon your blog, then read through a few posts and just wanted to say you have a great blog and are blessed with a beautiful family.
The toilet paper post was cool, and I would hate to reveal how much I use, but on the bright side I don't go through underwear too quickly ;)

As a kid, I was ALWAYS outside and very active. My specialty was climbing trees and I could be found in any tree on any given day regardless of whether it had any low branches or not. My mom would call me in for dinner and let out a scream when I answered her about 30 ft above her head.

I've got two children. A 21 year old daughter, Christina and a 12 year old son, Kyle. Christina was never into getting outside unless it was hanging with her friends. I tried putting her in gymnastics classes when she was younger, tennis lessons later on, museums, art, but she never really wanted to do any of those. We went through some trying times with her, but she has been turning out to be responsible, hard working and respectful and I am happy for her and how she is maturing.
My son Kyle is Autistic and his motor skills are not too good. He is awkward when trying to run and does not like to partake in outdoor activity. He loves animals and would prefer to watch his animal videos and programs all day long. I cannot let him outside for long without my supervision and so it can be quite difficult for everyone involved. I take him to the zoo, aquariums, walks in a wildlife preserve nearby, and strolls along the boardwalk to get him outside and excersized. Overall, his interest and love of animals has helped him in may respects.
I would say that it is important for a kid to get out and be active for both physical and mental stimulation but I think more important is that they have something that they are deeply interested in. Something that drives them and motivates them to be involved in. This could be something like computers, or art, or playing/creating music etc, in which case being indoors a lot is not all that bad as long as they are involved and being driven by a passion for something.

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