So, here you are, a week away from summer. Are you ready? Did you sign little Johnny up for golf, swimming, baseball and camp? Does little Suzie have all the new dance outfits she needs? Is she ready for horse camp? I want to simply ask you: Do you remember doing all these activities when you were young?
If we were lucky, my parents would splurge on a slip-n-slide for the summer. If you were VERY lucky you would get to go to one week of camp. My parents simply told us to go outside and ride our bikes, walk to the park or go just run around.
Now we have to spend hundreds of dollars to make sure Jr. keeps up with his/her skills prior to next year or, well, you're just not that good of a parent, I guess.
I hope the big guy in the sky helps when our son doesn't have the time to attend the David Freese camp. We are pretty sure he is just going to dry up and die if he can't go.
How will little Sally EVER be able to go to college if she doesn't ride in camp this year? We must be the worst West County parents ever because our kids might have a few hours in the week to be, well, to be kids. Kids need to understand you don't need to do it all. Pick one activity and then that's it. It really is OK to say no. It is even more OK to tell them to "go outside and play".
If we continue to organize their days and pack them with activities, who are they going to be when they are on their own? How are they going to know to use their gift of imagination and grow independently? When are they going to be "Super Bored" in the back yard and discover that it is kind of fun to play with the hose, dig a hole, build a lemonade stand or that every stick in the yard could actually be a fake sword?
I say, let them be free-range kids this summer! Encourage them to go outside without their DS, PS2 or whatever other game they have. See if they can organize a kickball game, or hold your breath here, play tag.
Our children are the brightest stars in our universe. It's time to let them shine on their own. Oh, it's 4:30—I have to go take little Sammy to ball pratice and Katie has gymnastics, then it's off to the library and then dinner, followed by reading, then we have to.......... Eric S.