Half way through September, celebrating Monday with a new list.
Can you believe autumn is just around the corner? I really enjoyed wrapping up the summer by reading all your lists of changes. You made me laugh, you made me think and you made me visit each one at least twice. Talk about change, I guess the seasons are about to. I like cooler weather and sweaters and pumpkin lattes. But I know some of you will miss summer a lot. So let’s dedicate our next weeks lists to this summer. Anything goes, just bring back a list of ten things summer 2011.
I have been thinking a lot about my childhood and comparing it with my son’s lately. So I wanted to hear your take on what children have different theses days, good or bad. I am very excited to see what you will share.
Let us begin!
Make a list, check it twice, link it up. Read others. Have fun!
10 THINGS FROM MY CHILDHOOD I WISH MY SON COULD DO
1. Grow up close to his grandparents and great grandparents.
In this day and age not many of us live a block away from our parents. I think it is important to get to know all generations and their stories. It is also good for kids to be made sitting in a pristine room full of porcelain and doilies at an elderly lady’s house, forbidden from talking and playing. It builds character and prevents children from becoming
hoarderers collectors of fine china.
2. Fending for himself
Kids are sheltered. Everything is deemed unnapropriate. I grew up among boys, mostly two years older then me. They bossed me around and we occasionally had a row. I went home with skinned knees and arms red from pulling. My Grandpa was proud when my friend’s mom came knocking on the door complaining I punched her son. He was provoking me and I handled it; like all kids do. I was never a bully. I never was bullied either. We fought over who will be the goalkeeper and who has a bigger dog. We never bottled anything up. Bit of a push and shove and 10 minutes later we were best friends again. Nobody carried guns to school at the age of 10. Don’t get me started on that.
3. Watch TV 10 minutes a day
I know, I know. I am in charge of the remote control. But when I was a kid we only had 2 channels. National TV channel one and two. And there was a cartoon every evening at ten past seven. We all watched it and went to bed afterwards, so parents could watch the news and have an evening to themselves. Then we talk about it in school the next day. My son has on demand shows and DVDs. I want to be strict about it, but I let him watch TV in the morning so I can get ready. I let him choose what he wants. I sometimes give in and let him watch another episode so I can tidy up. If I had no choice, he would have no choice. And that one evening cartoon would be a special treat and not the norm.
4. Go out to play
We live in a very safe town. But these days people are not used to letting kids go out to play on their own. I grew up in an apartment building and by the age of five I was allowed to go to the playground on my own. The only rule was I had to be back home in time for dinner and be able to hear my grandma calling me from the balcony. I wish my son could freely go and hang out with his buddies in a year or two. Kids are so much better playing nice when adults are not micromanaging them.
5. Be naughty
I don’t mean in a rude and malicious way like some kids are these days. But me and my friends spend a lot of our time being cheeky and aggravating the building’s janitor and the mean old lady that was always shouting at us for playing around her roses. I think that is what generations are meant to do to coexist. We kept them young by making them chase us around and we learned how to apologize, plant new roses and take punishments for things we did not even do wrong.
6. Go to school on his own
I was walked to school by my grandma only the first week I started it at the age of 6. After that I walked on my own, crossing the road and half a mile. I cherished that time. I either walked alone, with friends or my imaginary dog. My most meaningful friendships emerged from walking that distance every day. I want my son to be independent and free to walk to school, safely.
7. Exploring the world
We took the public bus and went downtown on our own by the age of 8. We had a pass, we knew our stops. We were send to buy fish from the market downtown and given change for ice cream. We attended ballet classes and gymnastics and soccer practice alone. There were no minivan mamas. There were bikes and public transportation. There was responsibility and independence. I guess the world was a safer place.
8. Pick an apple from a tree and eat it or drink from the well
I truly don’t understand how I was able to do that twenty years ago and I am now judged if I don’t buy organic for my son or let him drink tap water. Have we really destroyed our planet that much? That makes me so sad and mad.
9. Talk and play
No toys, no games, no distractions. We were out all day playing with marbles and jumping long elastic loops, playing knights and building forts form branches. My son shows his toys to his buddies as soon as they walk in. He takes his trucks to the beach. He watches his TV shows with his friends when he visits them. I know they have imagination, I know they can use it. But with all these modern distractions, they just don’t need to.
10. Have a happy childhood like mine was
I guess that is up to me. A lot has changed over the years but ultimately it was my grandparents that made my childhood so wonderful. So I need to make sure I can do the same. Be the best parent I can be.