School is out and summer is upon us. The kids are wanting to spend their next 2 1/2 months doing fun things and parents must make big choices about what their children do this summer. The last thing kids need to do is stay inside, under the air conditioner and play video games. Not that I am against the X-box or any other video format but I can think of many more bad things than good when it comes to playing games while the weather outside is beautiful.
I know you hear this a lot but when I was young, we had no air conditioning until I was in high school. We also had no color television sets and the TV sets we had, (generally only one) were black and white and received only three channels.
There was also no remote. I was the remote if my parents wanted the channel changed. There were also no video games available. So, during the day unless I wanted to watch a ton of Soap Operas or game shows on TV, I went outside.
My friends would meet me in the morning and we would play outside all day, literally. We would play baseball for hours and when it became too dark to play baseball, we would p/lay hide and seek or other childhood games. We would come in only to use the bathroom, eat lunch or get a drink of water. Some nights we would camp out in the yard in tents. We also would build tree houses, ride bikes or form neighborhood clubs. We were all very creative when it came to spending our day. On rainy days we would be forced to stay inside and read books or help mom and dad with the chores. We thought we had it made. For one week in the summer we all looked forward to attending Vacation Bible School. That was the only outside activity we had because there were very few camps or classes to take.
There was no social media back then, and that was a good thing. Educators will tell you today that ninety percent of the problems at school are a direct result of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are a terrible way to spend your time, whether you're in school or at home for the summer. I hope that parents will limit the social media time for their kids because computers and internet are basically great things, but also very dangerous.
I have written quite often about my grandsons playing baseball or other sports. My favorite thing in the world is to watch them play ball in the spring and summer. Today, I will attend a Moana ballerina recital for my oldest granddaughter, DellaMae. Her mom has enrolled her in a ballet class this summer, and while it isn't baseball, it is my granddaughter so I will be in attendance.
Spending quality time with your kids is very important, that's a year round responsibility. But in the summer ,especially when they are sitting around looking for something to do, parents should make sure there is an activity they would be interested in to help them pass the time. If you don't, their time will be spent on the internet looking up God knows what, or playing video games or even worse, spending too much time on social media. A country song says, "Take him fishing". The greater Chattanooga area is the perfect place to explore this easy and inexpensive activity.
Things were much simpler back in the day. We were all so active though, that time flew by too fast. Kids today get bored too easily. That's when they turn to their phones or computers to pass the time. Wise parents should make sure that's not the only option for their kids. You'll be glad you did, or you will most certainly be sorry you didn't.
Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org