Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This is Eight Years Old

This is eight years old.  These girls still play barbies, imagine and exchange letters and stories about being best friends.  They don't have phones and they don't play video games.  

My daughter is lucky enough to have her best friend live behind us.  They can run from yard to yard when we are home and they go home for dinner.  I learned from raising the first three that the most important thing I could do was keep my baby young for as long as possible.

This picture was right before they jumped into my pool holding hands while yelling, "friendship jump!" 

We didn't pressure our youngest to join sports, we didn't sign her up for tons of classes and activities.  Other than a club once a week after school she was free to do as she pleased.  It kept her carefree and gave her time at home to play.  Yes she was dragged to several activities for her older siblings, but that taught her how to wait.  

She knows how to be patient and that is a skill most adults still need to acquire.

In a world where kids seem to have just about everything they don't need (phones, video consoles) its ironic to me that many kids don't have what they do need.  

Responsibility. Attention. Time to be kids. 

Keep your kids young.  Resist the urge to buy them the newest phone or the best video game. You may be surprised to see they'll find something else to do. I've fallen into the trap of giving my kids electronics, and luckily they're still involved in sports and school and love to be outside.  

But there are many days I need to remind them that video games are the last thing they should be doing. 

We've moved a couple times, and every time it took a few days to set up internet and television. I remember what a struggle it was that first day. By the end of the second day, I realized we really didn't need any of it.  The kids found other ways to occupy their time and I did as well.  

It was like magic. 

This summer unplug.  Get outside.  Limit the data on the phones. Life passes us by while we're staring at screens, and we need to lead our kids by example. Our kids will find ways to be kids, and if they need help:

Build a fort
Make S'mores
Tie Dye shirts
Ride Bikes
Sleep in a tent in the yard
Write letters and mail them

Happy July 4th week!  Spend time together!

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