Monday, January 20, 2014

When I was a girl.... things were different.

I think.

Apparently, in the 80's (and 90's?) all the kids played outside, got dirty, ate worms and only came home when the sun went down.

What I really think is we're kidding ourselves.

As parents we're constantly comparing what we do with our kids to what others do with their kids, or comparing to what we experienced in our childhood. And we turned out okay, right?

So we never watched TV. NOPE. As my little boy grows up I am starting to recall just how much TV I actually watched. How does Mary Poppins three times each morning before breakfast sound? Like too much screen time? Yep, probably. But that was in the 80's. We didn't have too much "screen time" in the 80's, or did we?

We always played outside. NOPE. I have never been able to climb a fence, let alone a tree. I am not the best at riding bikes. And I don't really remember ever being absolutely filthy dirty from being outside all day long. (And I still hate dirty feet) But I do remember playing with toys inside during the day, or just hanging out in the garden, or better yet being in the pool.

Did my Mum & Dad run me around to the latest and greatest attraction every weekend? NOPE. I do remember visiting the zoo reasonably regularly. Perhaps for birthdays?Did I attend not one, but two or three or even four extra curricular activities after school or on the weekends. Most definitely not. Do I ever recall ANY extra curricular activities. NOPE. In saying that, I wish I DID have an interest that was encouraged and nurtured from a young age. And that is most certainly one thing that happened in my childhood that I intend not repeating for my son.

In comparison, my son gets really dirty outside at least 3 - 4 times a week, some days more than once, requiring a hose off (in summer) AND a shower sometimes twice a day. He watches cartoons in the mornings, and has some more "screen time" just before dinner to give myself & his Dad some time to debrief on the day. Does this equal what I remember watching in my day? Probably close to it. Do we attend regular extra curricular activities? No more than most kids, he has swimming lessons, as we don't have access to a pool (I did growing up). He has play dates once or twice a month. We go to the park or the beach at least once a week (yes, just once a week!) and try and fit in something extra special once a month. A theme park, a bigger park, a longer day at the beach, the museum and so on and so forth.

SO.... do you think it's really that different now to what it was when you were growing up? Is a comparison worth it unless you're bettering what you experienced?


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