Tag Archives: Summer

Go Play Outside

There are multiple memes and posts floating around social media which compare the youth experiences of older generations to a perceived sense of youth today.  Typically these comparisons highlight the wonder of being outside as compared to an assumption that today’s youth are technology obsessed.

It’s Complicated

It is easy to point to technology as the reason young people do not go out and play as has been the reality for children across the centuries.  While technology does provide options that engage young people, it is important to avoid assuming that this is simply a cause and effect equation.

Fear of outside

A plethora of information has fed concerns of parents since the 80s when public service announcements talked about ‘stranger danger’.  The result has been parents are more reluctant to allow their children to play outside citing multiple concerns including traffic, the possibility of being snatched by a stranger, the attitude of neighbours and more.

Added to these concerns are environmental concerns that have been raised recently including the possibility of getting Lyme disease from tick bites  and the increased risk of getting West Nile virus from mosquito bites  These realities help to feed our fears creating a space in which some are beginning to wonder if we are becoming nature phobic.

Scheduled Kids

The prevalence of scheduled activities has also increased significantly over the years enabling parents to enroll their children in everything from sports to music to science programs and more.  Windsor’s Activity Guide provides opportunities for young people to remain active throughout the summer.  While these opportunities can be beneficial for the development of children, a case has been made that scheduling activities makes it harder for children to engage in creative, spontaneous play.

What is meaningful?

In the end, perhaps the more important question to ask is what is meaningful for young people?  The tools available to today are significantly different from anything experienced previously and young people are finding ways to make meaning through technology, programming and quiet time.  While these opportunities may not fit with how we experienced or understand childhood, that doesn’t necessarily mean young people can’t learn, develop and grow through these opportunities.

The key is balance – ensuring that our children are physically and mentally active in ways that make sense for them.  How does this work in your family?  We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Vacation Memories

The end of today marks the beginning of a two week vacation from work for me.  As we move into this time, I asked my family what their favourite vacation memories are.

Exploring beyond home

Canada is a great big, wonderful country filled with incredible people and places.  Our family has enjoyed opportunities to explore all that Canada has to offer, including, one summer, travelling with my parents to the East Coast.  Whale watching, a lighthouse picnic, site seeing, kitchen parties, tours of a chocolate factory and potato chip factory, meals together, games, music and more filled our days and nights.  We captured the experience in a scrap book that became a gift for my parents at Christmas.  These continue to be wonderful memories and were the first that came to mind for hubby.

Technology-free

When asked about a favourite vacation memory, my kid recalled a weekend we had spent in Waterloo.  After being busy for an extended period of time, we decided that we would leave cell phones and computers at home (we kept one phone for emergencies) and simply spend time together.  Following a day of visiting, wandering St. Jacobs and enjoying the area, we went back to the hotel room to have dinner and play games.  In the process we laughed so hard our stomachs ached.  These moments are powerful reminders of the intimacy we share as a family.

I don’t know

When I raised the question with hubby and kid, they were both quick to respond.  I, however, have been thinking about this for several days and can’t point any one particular trip or memory as being a favourite.  Instead, the more I think about it, the more I feel awed at the many ways we have walked this earth together over the years travelling as far away as Kenya, spending time with my sister and her partner in the UK,  journeying across Canada and staying closer to home.

The places and people in this world are incredible.  Incredible still is the way travelling has brought us together uniting us in some of our passions and creating space for us to explore new things together.

So, what about you?

What is your favourite vacation memory?  In what ways have you experience vacations as opportunities to come together as a family?  What do you dream about doing with your family?

We would love to hear from you.  Add your thoughts in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/