The kids and I are in the car on our journey back home after a super long and exciting day. We were invited to their friend’s birthday party and what a party that was. The day was packed with fun activities from swimming, football, to a fascinating treasure hunt. You’d think they would be beat to the bone, dead tired and dreaming of a warm shower and bed until one or all of them drop the inevitable bombshell and pop the question: “where are we going now or what are we doing next?!!”
ENERGISER never dies; the kids’ batteries are still half charged and they still expect more structured entertainment before the day officially comes to an end.
Nothing irritates me more than queries about our agenda and the day’s itinerary. It actually gives me racing heartbeats and palpitations. On a typical weekend morning, before they are even properly awake, the kids will question and investigate the plans of the day. And they had better be back-to-back super exciting and extraordinary activities. Suggesting a relaxing day at the club will not get favorable results; we always have to have plans alone or with friends.
You could’ve been at the mall all afternoon, spent more than your weekly income’s worth, and you’re still racking your brains on how to wrap up the day. You took the kids to watch the new Disney production at the movie theatre then followed that by lunch and ice cream at their favorite outlets. On your way out, the kids beg you to go for a ride or two at the Magic Planet; you end up recharging the card at least three times. If you’re too weak, you might fall for a Segway ride on your way out. Shopping for unneeded toys and clothing eventually comes in the way too.
Hold on, what are we doing to those poor kids?!! We have created monsters that we’re continuously trying to feed and satisfy.
I have to admit that it’s never the child’s fault. We have gotten our kids used to constant planned and structured play time. I believe that in this day and age of a fast-paced, stressful and materialistic world, many parents would rather go for structured activities that cost them an arm and a leg than spend the time with their children. I’m constantly hearing about new classes and workshops that teach kids how to play chess or help them with their homework; things we normally did with our parents at home when we were their age. In many cases, it’s either this or unlimited screen time just to get the children off their backs. I’m not in any way suggesting that parents need to relentlessly keep entertaining their kids by engaging in creative activities at home. No one expects us to bake, draw, assemble jigsaw puzzles or plan fun arts and crafts activities until the kids’ bedtime.
The concept of free time is very foreign to the kids; they are clueless about how to invest it.
These kids hardly get the chance to discover how to entertain themselves. It is perfectly alright not to have any plans but still manage to have a fun and productive day. Kids should not feel victimized for having to play with their toys, read a book, draw or get creative at home in any way that will keep them busy and happy. It should be ok to grab a soccer ball or a tennis racket and go to the club to enjoy a nice day out without any prior arrangements. If we’re always trying to fill up every free second of their time, then we can’t expect them to ever do it on their own. Practice makes perfect.
They are what WE breed……
A mother of three, Amina is a committed copyeditor and writer with hands-on experience. Amina’s writings are driven from real life situations, events and incidents and are directly related to the modern women and mothers of today’s fast changing and challenging world.