My middle son is obsessed with electronics, in particular, the computer. He can take or leave television (me, too, thanks to Hulu), dabble in X-Box and the DS, but according to our James, Minecraft or Spore on the computer make his life worth living…or so he thought.
My husband and I limit access to his ‘beloved’ to one hour a day if he plays that much music on the piano and his trumpet. Sometimes we just limit it entirely at our discretion depending on how mindful he is of the rules. We are probably stricter than most parents (certainly not close to the Tiger Mom!) mostly because we feel strongly that there are many other ways to spend one’s time than with electronics. We want the children to consider those ways when they discover free time in their very busy schedules. To us, it’s an important developmental milestone in the process of maturing to know how to manage time when no one is there to dictate.
During a discussion with my husband about what other activities he might do instead while dad was using the computer for a complicated recipe, 11-year-old James came up with a fantastic array of options. It was so wonderful to see this many childhood pastimes that I thought I would share it with other parents who may get the same argument that “there’s nothing else to do!”
“50 Things I Do for Fun”
1. Drawing cartoons
2. Designing the school newspaper
3. Playing computer (interestingly, not #1)
8. Going to school with a fake moustache
9. Sketching logos
14. Racing the dogs
17. Clay sculpting
18. YO-MAMA smackdowns with friends (??)
19. Sword-fights with Nicky (younger brother)
20. Writing stories
21. Making forts
22. Bubble: a school game
24. Practicing my lettering (bubble, 3-D, grunge)
26. Playing “Predator”
28. Talking with friends
29. Listening to music
30. Going to parties
31. Bouncing on my friend’s trampoline
32. Tackling Nick
33. Cracking jokes
34. Hiking the woods
35. Climbing sheer dirt cliffs like at KIma’s (grandma’s)
36. Searching the paths for quartz and stockpiling it
37. Building snow tunnels
39. Snowball fights
40. Trying to walk across the huge snow pile without falling (snow plow’s pile)
42. Petting the dogs and getting licked
44. Playing jail with George, Olivia and Nick
45. Sampling cookies
46. Throwing rocks to see who can hit a target
48. Climbing trees
50. Tasting VICTORY!
While is sure is great to be a kid, I see many activities I like to do, too. Perhaps this is a list I can refer to when I get off this computer!
Happy playing to all!