Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Old Outdoors

Today, my family went camping. Among us were three kids, aged nine and seven, and for entertainment, I took a ball and a bike. Assuming that they would be eager to play freely, I said optimistically, why don't you start by playing "monkey in the middle?". Five minutes later, no one had gotten up. Again, "why don't you go ride the bike?". Still nothing. And then I realised, these kids have almost never played like we did. Out of the three of them, not a single one could ride the bike smoothly; they had never had to. They hadn't been exposed to the neighbourhood like we did when we were their age. They had never had enough space or a "safe street" where they could ride the bike. On the other hand, give them a tablet and watch them download an application, compete for the highest score and share tips like they have been playing it for years. It made me sad, really, to think that all my summers were spent in the streets, roller-blading, running, playing tag, riding the bike and saving my half dinar daily allowance to buy chips and juice at the end of the day. And on other days, it would be ice cream! And now, these kids, are uncomfortable with the most basic entertainment options for their ages. I think with my son, I will push him towards the outdoors more. Wen is he supposed to be able to ride the bike wthout training wheels?

No comments: