Kids in this country have a lot. Even those who don’t at home, may at school. With I-pads, computers, gaming systems, hover boards, bikes, and American Girls dolls, most children are privileged with many material items in the United States.
And, then there’s the extracurricular activities that our children have access to. Dance classes in preschool, gymnastics at age 2, competitive soccer teams starting in first grade, swim team, piano lessons, violin, art classes, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, basketball, football…..the list goes on and on. And, these things are fun. Some of these activities are even beneficial. Our kids are very fortunate.
But, we are busy. And, what I’ve noticed from spending thousands of hours with kids is that they are really much more simple than we give them credit for. They don’t need most of things they have have. In fact, they won’t play with most of their toys.
So, what do they really want?
Instead of ordering pizza, I really want to make pizza with you.
Instead of going to soccer practice, I really want to kick the ball around with you.
Instead of going to dance class, I want to give you a performance in the living room.
Instead of getting a new kindle, I want you to read with me.
Instead of more time on my tablet, I want you to get off of your phone!
Instead of you working all the time, I want you home.
Instead of posting a picture of my report card on Facebook, I want you to tell me how proud you are.
Instead of staying busy, I want to stay home.
No, the above is not true all the time for everyone. And, extracurriculars and toys are fun for all ages. Yes, and we all want a distraction sometimes! But, really, what matters most is the time and love we give each other. I’ve heard it time and again from all types of kids from all types of backgrounds and families. They just want quality time with those they love. It’s quite simple.
So, is it just us, the adults, who need the entertaining!? In this country, we do have the luxury of having things. But, even lots of things won’t make us happy. Entertained? Yes. Distracted? Definitely. But, the excess of things and lack of quality time may leave us unsatisfied.
Take a moment this week for quality time with those you love. Many already are but we all need a little reminder of what our kids really need. Keeping it simple is more of what our kids really need and want!