Monday, January 10, 2011

Let Them Use Their Imagination

The Christmas season has delivered many hi-tech items to my children’s doorstep... as many parents can relate to.
I have been limiting the amount of time my children spend using them for several reasons. I feel that technology can easily distract and wind them up, I prefer not to allow them to play on computers, wii’s, etc. until the weekend. I also don't want it to interfere with the quiet, successful routine of homework, early bedtimes and family conversation we have on school nights. 
It’s been hard for them, they are just dying to use this stuff, but they’re surviving. This weekend my fiancé noticed something which confirmed this.
He doesn’t have children of his own, but has done an incredible job of adapting to the role of step-dad. He has a knack for parenting (obviously or else I wouldn’t be with him) and he’s really pretty good at knowing what to do or say at the precise time. And because he seems like such a natural, I forget that he hasn’t experienced the kids do some of the things they do.
For instance, at Christmas we bought the kids a few games etc. and we bought my son a Lego set. It wasn’t really cheap, but we carefully shopped for the right set and my son loves it.
On Friday, I received a few packages from a friend. The packages were in large boxes and I finally opened them yesterday. So my two younger kids, ages 9 and 6, asked me to cut holes in the boxes so they could play with them.
I was busy at that moment and had my older daughter do the cutting. The boxes were cleverly cut with arms and bottoms cut out for their legs to go through.
Instantly, I had two whizzing jets, then two spaceships, and by the time my fiancé came home from work, he ran into two transformers.
At the end of the night, he mentioned how it was a pleasure (and a surprise) to come home to two giddy children zooming around the house as these things.
Today, the children are using the cardboard boxes again, and again, and AGAIN.
As they went flying by us once again, this time as cars, he looked at me, chuckled, shook his head and said, ‘A hundred bucks for Legos, several computer games, and they’re playing with cardboard boxes and it’d keeping them occupied for days, I don’t get it’.
 I burst out laughing! I was used to this type of thing and had been really ecstatic for the cardboard boxes to come. I knew what the kids would do with them. But, I’d forgotten that my fiancé had no idea that a cardboard box could keep a kid occupied for so long!
It was a very humorous moment. I love watching him see things as a parent for the first time. It makes me smile, and at the same time, I am assured in my conclusion that my kids do not need to sit in front of a video game all day.
Remember the days when we, and the generations before us didn't have this stuff? We survivied anjd so did they....we just used our imagination.
Truly,
Amber

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