There be dragons here!

I look around and see kids absorbed in electronics. If there’s nothing to watch or no games to play suddenly there’s “nothing to do!” I refuse to get cable or allow computers in the kids room, and utterly refuse to buy them iAnythings.  I hear complaints that all the other kids got Kindle Fire’s or iPads, or iPod Touch.

“That’s nice, but y’all break everything. Not happening.”

Here’s my dirty little secret: even if they didn’t break everything electronic I still wouldn’t buy them these things. Sure, gadgets are cool and awesome. I like the few that I own. The thing is I want to force them to use this little thing called an imagination. I want them to read and create their own little adventures. Sure, there are scientific studies supporting the benefit and correlation to that “thinking outside the box” that get people ahead in a highly competitive work world. Exercise is also important, but my stick thin kids are not an any danger right now of growing obese. I make them ride bikes and run around the yard, and walk, and all manner of things. Believe it or not, they still have energy after doing all of that!

More importantly, I believe that is FUN and that perhaps one of these days they’ll play without trying to kill each other. Playing on their own little handheld game systems may keep them from bothering each other, but it doesn’t form friendships either.

A storm blew through a few days ago and knocked a giant pine limb down. I didn’t get around to dragging it off the fence until today. The kids claimed it as a “toy”. It became a four-headed dragon, or maybe one headed, depending on which child you asked. They fought off crusaders and fungus. I believe the dragon split into two pieces at one point and Miss Diva decided the dragons should marry. I don’t want to think about the genetics of that. There was a dragon herd at one point as well, and which end  was the head became a heated debate.

The entire time while I weeded the garden, not once did a child say, “There’s nothing to do!” Why? Because there be dragons here!



One response to “There be dragons here!

  1. It’s sad that more parents/people don’t remember how to have FUN without gadgets.

    I refused to buy my kids cell phones, and all those other gadgety thinguses (or brand new cars) – even though there were plenty of kids who had all of the above. Heck half the kids in Beth’s class had cell phones way before I even bowed to the inevitable. We played games, walked, biked, made tents out of sheets, made our own Valentines from scratch, learned to cook and have fun little picnics. We slayed our own dragons (well no, we didn’t slay them really we befriended them because the Dragon King would have been very vexed with us otherwise) We colored, we sat outside and made up stories, we camped and we played very well without all that nonsense. We even washed our hair in the rain and danced around in it to boot. (The Dragon King, not as much, he’d just laugh at us from the doorway on that one.) SOMETIMES, we even played with our food. (Pork chops can really do an amazing can-can don’tcha know?)

    I think most people are so busy and there’s too much tech, so they forget about the joys of being a kid. I remember when I used all my vacation days to go to every field trip the girls had. I was the crazy fire-purple haired mom, playing on the jungle gym, sitting in the grass with all the kids, playing tag etc. while all the other “parents” stood in wooden groups and looked stoically on, some in disapproval. I had fun, we had fun. I think most people would rather have robot nannies because they’ve just forgotten how to have fun.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a tech whore, I freely admit I have this failing now, (except I don’t i-own anything of that nature, not biting that Apple) But then again, I still go play and create and when we get together, the girls and I still do all those fun silly things. I hope to be doing them with the Nina-Bee. Goodness knows Marissa and Aunt Beth are already teaching her about fun.

    And the upshot is, imagination inspires creativity and expands the mind. It’s made the girls the creative festive gals they are today. (You know me, had I been there, I’d of been playing dragons with them – I always did play fun games with your kidlets too.)

    YAY YOU!

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