Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tag you're it!

It has been nearly a year since the last post. I wish I could say that our lives are so exciting that we don’t have time, but truly that is not the case. Life is just too busy with everyday stuff.

We left Maseru on a mission. We were going to expose the kids to every activity available. Great idea at the time, but turns out activities take time. They now have organized play almost everyday. In fact the calendar is locked down pretty tight every day of the week from 7am until 8pm. Saturday is free, or I should say Saturday and Sunday are free after noon.

They like their gymnastics, swimming, and soccer, well enough when there, but they hate moving on to the next activity. There are always big fights going out the door. 4 and 6 years old and I know they are going to grow up to be procrastinators like me.

They have no choice. They must learn how to play soccer if they are going to live overseas. What else is there? Cricket? Rugby? The weird thing is that they really don’t know how to play soccer. There are important lessons to be learned in teamwork and sportsmanship in this style of instruction, but less about footwork and resilience. On the playground or back alleys is where the kids really learn how to play games and how to play hard. There is nowhere to learn a game like that in our apartment building. My kids have to learn everything through organized and supervised play.

Organized play has killed creativity.  These guys get up in the morning and immediately turn on Netflix. They don’t play Legos or run around. I have to find a way to break this habit as well. We used to be a no TV family. What happened?

Living in the States has made these guys soft. My son is about to turn six and doesn’t have a pocketknife. What 6 year old boy doesn’t know how to use a knife to make a bad guy trap in the woods, or torment his sister? Not that I endorse this last act as they absolutely drive me crazy tormenting each other, but it does seem to be an important part of growing up. As much as I want him to have this experience, i.e. bad guy traps, I am terrified he will do something stupid and hurt himself.  Enter here the mischievous uncle.  I need you to help get this kid muddy.

1 comment:

alex said...

I had no organized activities as a kid. I woke up, went outside, and played all day with the neighbor kids throughout the neighborhood. Parents never knew or cared where we were. We turned up back home for meals.

My have times changed. My kiddos are still little (9 months and 3) but I can already see it. Like you, I'm hoping to fight against the structure and parental involvement, though I doubt I'll be very successful...