In the eyes of the many ‘perfect’ judgey moms out there, I probably do a LOT wrong. But yesterday afternoon was an almost perfect example of that ‘wrong’ making things so right.
The weather was perfect after school and the kids were most eager to head outside after snacks were dealt with. I had already been outside with Tara and a runaway dog, but who can say no to children who want to enjoy the weather and the great outdoors with their friends. I especially can’t say no when we have a house full of electronics, including Adam’s latest birthday money coup – a Playstation 3, and they would still rather be outside with their friends.
The judgey stuff will come in now. What do the primarily male group of kids want to do when outside? They play games based on their fave video games and movies and this usually involves guns and or zombies. What rocked for me was that they all happily included Tara, even making sure she was appropriately armed (gun jammed in the back of her leggings) to join in their team man hunt.
Caity was sitting with me for part of the outdoor time as she gets fed up with all the arguments about who is dead and who isn’t, but she joined in too and soon the lot of them were roaming and RUNNING all over the complex, with me there just to make sure they didn’t lose Tara. I even helped her find some good sniping positions when she was staggering around with a rather large toy rifle.
So many parents are against video games and anything ‘violent’ these days. And yes, the material that is available to young minds today is far more graphic than what we had….though I recall the military drenched ‘comics’ in the UK that were geared for the boys were extremely graphic as was the 2000 AD that I loved. Things are just more colourful now. I remember running around the playground and school playing ‘wargames,’ and so does my mom. It is a trend that doesn’t seem to go away.
But in a world that is horrified by obese and sedentary children. A world (in our western culture, anyway) where children now seem to need to be taught how to play after we have stunted their imagination with so much controlled and adult scheduled time…….the fact that this horde of kids were RUNNING and laughing and working as teams and communicating and using their imaginations – granted, armed to the nerf teeth – made me very satisfied indeed and made the Friday afternoon quite perfect. Apart from a dinner break, the kids were out there till after 7 pm. They ran around for over 3 hours. Not once did the lure of their electronics drive them indoors….not until dark anyway.
I really feel that if we want our kids to be more active and healthy we need to back of and let them do their thing. We are too involved in our kids lives these days…..kids learn from playing together, not being told what to do and play by adults. There are so many valuable lessons to be garnered from cooperative free play. Teamwork, decision making, fair play, respect and so on….so important to making fun kids into great adults.
My son ran into the house later to tell me how freaked out he was by one kids rather stunning performance of a zombie. He said they really felt like they were in danger and their luck was running out.
I think that is pretty cool.