Ask any grandparent and they will tell you – times certainly have changed. With the rise of social media and our reliance on technology, our children are being exposed to more information than ever before.
But are our kids missing out on some of those childhood activities that we took for granted because they are considered slightly messy, dangerous or unhealthy?
You be the judge.
In parenthood, you have to choose your battles. You can choose to wrap your little one in bubblewrap, or, you can choose to let loose every once in a while.
Here are the things we may twitch, sigh and groan about. But these are the things that all children should be able to experience (even if it’s just once).
Play in mud.
My children recently experienced the pure joy that is a mud slide and it was one of the happiest mornings they have ever had. Sure, my car still smells like stale mud and the bathtub will never be the same, but watching them slip, slide and laugh themselves silly with their mates was worth every single spec of dirt.
Choose their own clothing.
Sure, your child may select shorts in winter and bathers to go to the shops, but as long as it’s not a blizzard outside, then it won’t kill them.
Walk home alone.
We’re not suggesting you let your preppie student walk home from school unsupervised. But if your child is responsible and you are both comfortable with letting him venture outside without you close by, then go for it!
I walked home from school alone most days. And uphill both ways I might add…
Play at a video arcade.
We’ve heard so many bad things about too much screen time and video arcades are expensive time wasters but they are also a lot of fun, especially for kids. One of my son’s favourite thing to do on our weekly ‘mummy and son date’ is shoot zombies and race cars together at the arcade.
I know, shooting zombies is not the best lesson to be teaching our children… but, listening to him laugh as we play together is worth it.
Host a sleepover.
Nothing brings out the sleep deprivation quite like hosting a sleepover for 10 little boys or little girls. But you have to admit, some of your best childhood memories came from sleepover parties, where you would stay up late watching horror movies, make your own pizzas for dinner and crash out in sleeping bags on a friend’s lounge room floor.
Cook or bake with minimal supervision.
You won’t realise how much of a control freak you are until you let your child “help” in the kitchen. But you need to go for it.
Yes, there will be egg shells in the cupcakes, there will be flour all over the floors, there will be chocolate frosting hand-prints all over the cupboard and you will probably have to bin the end result, but to them, this is an afternoon of creativity and excitement.
It’s not the safest after-school activity but do you remember how much fun climbing trees was? And, besides, it’s not like they are jumping from the tree onto a trampoline without padding on the springs or a safety net…
That was just us.