Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is It Just Me?

Maybe it's just mid-summer.
Maybe I haven't trained them well.
Maybe I was the centrality of their play-time in their early years.

But, really, all three of them? Okay, here it is: My children don't know how to entertain themselves.

Now, that I've said it, let me unload what I've felt ever since watching Toy Story 3. I heard that many Moms cried in the movie. I'm pretty sure that the part where my friends cried, came and went without emotion for me. I recognized it. But, the part where I had to hold back my tears that I fear could have led to wailing was where I watched a little girl play with her toys. She had imagination. She was happy with toys and time.

I know it's not just the movies. I've seen real-life children play with toys. So, what is wrong in the house? I do un-plugged time and they are

I don't ever remember as a child, the boredom that my children speak of. I loved to play. I actually loved to be left alone with a ton of time. No expiration on the play time I had. Summer. I loved summer. There were lazy days. Creative days. Plum-tuckered out days. I just don't remember the misery that my children seem to be experiencing when I "make" them play.

And, now, as an adult...... GIVE IT TO ME! Playtime. Non-stop play. Reading a book. Doing a project (that's a grown up term for craft.) Being outside.

I don't know if it's just me, but I actually had to lecture my children today on "playing."
It went something like this:

"Boredom is a choice. Did you see how the children on Toy Story played with their toys? Try that. Put some imagination into it. Once I see that you know how to have fun by yourselves and entertain yourselves, then we can do other things like: playdates, movies or the pool."

In case you read that with a calm voice, I thought I'd inform you that it wasn't that calm!
But, guess what?
Forts are built and they are now playing :)


keep running said...

I loved summer time for the same reason, freedom to explore and play the whole day long. :) Your kiddos will catch on, forts are a great place to start. Have a blessed week!

Pedro Gismondi, M.D. said...

Says Pedro but GG writing.This could not have been said any better. As an older mother, I have such concern about the lack of creativity and imagination of most children. As an only child, I learned to be "alone". But as adults do we have the same problem? I crave days to just be home and read or write, work on picture albums etc. I love the thought of sitting on the patio or by the lake and just watching nature-birds, leaves blowing, clouds in the sky. So why do I feel so guilty when I do this?

My children now tell me they wish I had not felt the need to have them DO so many activities, to always be on the go, in this sport or that program...even at church so many. Hindsight.

Rachel, you are so insightful. You are seeing truth and I am so proud of you for this. You are a great mother and you also are looking at things through the eyes of GOD. He has the same problem with His children. Look how busy His children become at the expense of time alone with Him.

I love you.

nikkie said...


we have those lectures around here, too. and i don't like them much.

mostly because while i'm lecturing them, i'm also lecturing myself.

and, i didn't cry in the movie, either..

what's with that, anyway??

love ya!

Chelle said...

I need to teach them how to play...I'm pretty sure I am a professional.

Mimi said...

It's not just you!1 There is a whole generation out there of children who have expectations for others to do the work for them.....including entertainment!! Everything in our culture is working against you. But, God is for you and He is the most creative of all. Pray for them to follow their Creator. Challenge them to find how many things they see that God created and how many things man has made.

Mimi said...

It is not just you!! It is the whole culture. There is an expectation that someone else owes them....including entertainment!! Make an appeal to them to imitate the most creative One of all......their Creator. Maybe they could make a list of all the things around them He created and then the things man has created. It could start their own creative juices!!
Hang in there! You are ding a great job!!