For the past month I’ve done something new, I’m teaching two classes for kids at my local gym. One is ages 3 – 5, the other 8 - up. The older ones are part of a circuit class, light weight-lifting. I love to instruct them on proper form, educate on the muscles worked and encourage development of a strong body and mind. And the babies are a blast- I get paid to run around, dance and play games with cutie patooties.
Kids and exercise are natural partners. They love moving their bodies, it’s second nature. We laugh and play, joke around and high-five at the end. In a class environment, there are no distractions. I know when they go home, there are plenty.
I have four children and a step-son. They have electronics, and the longer they are a part of our lives, the more I want to toss them out the window. Screens and darling little faces don’t match. Kids need sunshine, movement and real-life interaction.
I’m writing more for myself here. I need to reign in screen-time in a big way. I tend toward the all-or-nothing (toss!). Rationally I know a smaller amount of time with the I-pods, phones, video games and T.V. would benefit all of us. Right now there is no set structure other than with the video games, the other screens vie for my kids’ attention to the detriment of much better activities. It’s time for me to implement some tough rules and stick to them.
Have you had success with boundaries around electronics? With summer around the corner I must be organized and determined to change the way they spend their free time. I’m anticipating a back-lash, so the clearer I am on the new rules, the better.
We have a yard, a park down the street, bikes, rollerblades, scooters, pogo sticks, soccer balls, basketball hoop, baseballs and bats, community pool pass, footballs, and a playful puppy. What more do kids need?
Parents, lets unite against wasted childhoods. My favorite toy when I was their age was the outdoors. For their own health and relieving my parenting guilt, it’s time to toss the screens.
Okay, now how? Remember Laura, you are their parent, not their friend.
Much parenting love,