Let me clarify…
I think people often try to find ways to make every day life easier; getting as much done as possible with the least amount of effort. Sometimes my children seem equally willing to choose the activity that requires the least effort, even when it comes to play.
I have a very active and athletic pre-teen boy that will, at times, gladly choose the television or video and computer games if it’s left up to him. Oh, he loves to play outside, climb trees, jump on his trampoline and swing around on his jungle gym. Yet there are times I have to give him the proverbial poke in the ribs to make him go and do those things. He simply gets too lazy to go outside.
It’s easy for the television to become the most convenient child minder, with all those channels to browse through, keeping them occupied and out of their parents hair. But is it healthy? We all know the answer to that. To take the argument out of the situation, we’ve just made it a house rule that during the week the television stays off. At least until its dark outside. Daytime is made for work: school work, chores and outside play, weather permitting.
Of course kids are just masters at figuring out how to ‘massage’ their parents buttons. What is it that gets mom and dad to say yes to what I want? So to take the burden off myself to stay strong and leave the television silent, my husband came up with a brilliant solution:
Too bored or lazy to find something to do on your own? Well…. just let me help you out with that!
My standard response to: “I am bored, I have nothing to do…” now sounds something like this:
“Your entertainment is your own responsibility, if you can’t find something to do, I have lots of chores for you to do and they will be done to my satisfaction.”
(Evil grin 😛 ) This is almost always met with: “Never mind!!” and disappearing footsteps.
Of course, whenever possible, it’s much more fun for me to be able to tell them to meet me on the trampoline for some jumping fun. Or to grab the baseball gloves and we’ll all play some catch.
Sometimes I just say:
“Ok, I only have time for a short break. I’m going to make a coffee and sit on the patio. Why don’t you strap on your jumping stilts, and show me some of your tricks?”
Children are really no different than us grown ups, they can get into a bit of a lazy rut. Sometimes they just need a nudge in the right direction.