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Aster's avatar

Anyone else notice the new "keep them having fun every second" way of child rearing?

Asked by Aster (19984points) May 30th, 2013

I am shocked at how indulgent parents are now with keeping little kids entertained every second. When I was a kid and summer vacation began it was on the bike all day long and coloring books. Now I notice they get taken to the pool, then to the golf range, then to the movies and next comes the camping trip with fishing and boating. It rotates for all summer. I cannot believe this! They are bored stiff just watching tv now! The parents feel sorry for them and take them shopping and the entire scenario begins again. Am I the only one who thinks this is happening and that it spoils kids so they can’t even read a book anymore? Surely this is sending kids some sort of message but I don’t know what that is. This pertains to pre=video games kids.

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16 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Part of the problem is, parents today aren’t as relaxed about sending the kids out to play in the wide wide world unattended. It may be safer today, but it doesn’t feel safer. When they plan all this stuff, it means they are with their kids.

I…however, didn’t have any problem shooing my kids out the door on the first day of summer. “But be sure to be back here by August 16th because the next day is the first day of school!” I also didn’t have the money to do all that other stuff, except send them to the pool (unattended.) But even that got so damn expensive.

longgone's avatar

No, actually. Almost all the kids I know are perfectly capable of amusing themselves. And even if that weren’t so…I don’t see any harm in exposing your child to many different settings, having fun as a family. If the parents suffer, sacrificing all their time because they are convinced it will hurt their child if they don’t – that would concern me.

Seek's avatar

Yeah. These damned modern parents spend time with their children instead of plopping them down in front of a glowing screen. Who needs trips to the zoo, or the aquarium, or the planetarium? Doesn’t Shark Week start soon?~~

Just saying, my son is much happier sitting down to read after a big day out and about.

We spent this day shopping at the local flea market. He read me to sleep. First time he read a book cover to cover by himself. #proudmama

longgone's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr He’s cute :) Is he reading Dr. Seuss?

Seek's avatar

The Foot Book!

Aster's avatar

I agree parents should spend time with their kids. I’m not talking about eliiminating family fun. I am speaking of each second of every day being spent driving them somewhere, cooking out, taking them shopping , then out to eat, off to the pool etc until (and I’ve seen this so much) they fall asleep the minute they’re in a car driving somewhere. What happened to little boys building things? Erector sets? Swings? Leafing through books? Playing in dirt or sand? Climbing trees? I did all these and more and I don’t feel I was neglected or unloved.

Seek's avatar

We do quite a bit (I kind of hate being bored at home, myself), but the dude has plenty of time to get Lego bricks and Hot Wheels cars all over my house. Don’t worry so much. ^_^

We’ll ignore the fact that we spend a good 6 hours every Saturday and Sunday playing Wii together…

longgone's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Thought so.

And I agree. Every generation worries about the next generation’s ability to raise kids.
And to get everything else done…
There are parents which don’t let their children play freely, sure. But I don’t think there’s a lot of those. And if I were a child, I’d rather be falling asleep in the car after a long day than be ignored by my parents. Also, @Aster – there’s lots of things kids can climb. Even in the mall!

augustlan's avatar

There are a subset of parents who do over-schedule their children, sure. I’m not thinking so much about the family time, though, but the outside-of-school “class” time: Gymnastics, dance and soccer. Music, art and language. And on and on, ad infinitum. Throw in some family time and scheduled play dates, and there’s a kid who doesn’t have any downtime. I wouldn’t say most parents are like that, though. We always had a good mix…my girls’ father is a goer and a doer, while I am a stayer and a talker/thinker – and both of us were just fine with the kids playing on their own a lot, too. Our kids had plenty of stuff to do and plenty of downtime, too.

JLeslie's avatar

I also went to camp some summers, day camp when I was little, sleep away when I was older.

I rode my bike with friends, played almost daily in the playground.

We went to the pool all the time. When I was very little we probably went only a few times a month, but at age 9 we moved to a planned community and all summer long we went to the pool a few times a week.

Also, we took a family vacation usually to Cape Cod when I was very little, lasted a week usually.

Some years my grandparents took my sister and I for 3 weeks to the Catskills in NY and there was swimming, and tennis, and dance lessons, and we went blackberry picking, played pool, we were constantly busy. Think Dirty Dancing, it really was like that in the Catskills, but our dance instructor was a 60 year old guy and mostly we did circle dances. I loved it.

I took ballet lessons from age 3–11 twice a week. Some other classes here and there in addition, but never felt overbooked with classes.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am friends with a lot of kids and teen agers on Facebook. Most of them have lives so structured and organised. They go from one class to the next, karate, soccer, footy, dancing, swimming lessons, tennis lessons, and on and on. Then when they have 10 minutes that isn’t planned, they are on facebook complaining about being bored. I think they are bored because they never have any down time when they are required to entertain themselves so they don’t have a clue how to go about it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have a friend that is very much like this with her toddler. Every experience must be a fun one for him and I dread to think about the shock he will get when an experience isn’t quite as exciting as everything has been up to this point!!! Her Facebook posts do bring out the sarcastic little devil in me I have to admit!!

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add I don’t think my parents were in a “keep them having fun” mode. We went to camp to give my mom a break. My grandparents took us to give my mom a break. LOL. See a theme? My mom loved to swim, she still goes almost every day. Her love of swimming meant I went to the pool, when I was little what choice did I have? She put me in ballet so I would have some discipline, grace, and posture. Piano because I was interested and she thought it is commendable to know how to play an instrument. Sure part of it all was for my enjoyment, but not only for that reason.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I posted this a while back, but I think it’s relevant here. As I said, I had NO money. The kids were on their own!


When I was raising my kids in the 80’s and 90’s, I refused to have cable, internet, or video games in the house. They spent a LOT of time outside. They’d get on my nerves and I’d holler at them to go run around Farmer’s Field, across the street, 10 times! And they would.

When my daughter was about 13 or so, she could feel her childhood slipping away. One day she asked me to take a walk with her….and we spent the whole afternoon walking through the pages of her childhood.

She took me down an alley, then stopped at a privacy fence and said, “Look through that knot hole. The guy has a Japanese garden in his back yard! We watched him build it! He adds new stuff every so often. Isn’t it cool?!” It was VERY cool.

South Western College campus was their play ground. She showed me a funky tree on campus that had limbs that grew almost horizontally to the ground. She said kids would collect there and sit on the limbs and make plans for when they grew up.

It wasn’t just the campus…they knew the buildings inside and out too. She took me to the new science building they had put up a couple of years before. She showed me where Alvin the Alligator’s living place was. She described where he lived in the old building and how much nicer his new digs were and how much happier he was….until one day he wasn’t there any more. He had died. She took me on a tour of the whole building. Really NEAT stuff in there! Then we snuck out a back door before we got chased away!

She took me to so many, many secret places around town and told me the stories and memories that were tied to each one. I could sense that she didn’t want it all to end, didn’t want to close that book, but she couldn’t stop it. It was a tide relentlessly sneaking up to claim her childhood, and she could sense it coming. It brings tears to my eyes to this day. It was one of the most precious moments I’ve ever spent with one of my kids.

And then my baby started slipping away after that, stolen by the tide and boys and bad attitudes. I turned around twice, and she was having children of her own. But I’ll never, ever forget that walk that day.

Thank you Corrie, my love.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III That was amazing. Thanks for sharing that. I’m glad I didn’t have on eye make up when I read it. Tear jerker.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wrote it over Christmas, and came upon it the other day. Made me tear up too.
As we speak, she’s off to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas with her 4 kids! Her son will be 8 on Sunday and he’s a galaxy nut, so it’s his Christmas present. Don’t know how she’s old enough to do that all by herself. :(

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