Friday, January 7, 2011

Entertain Me

Do you remember Nirvana?  Although I was never a heavy metal rocker (I know, you’re shocked.), I often sang along with their song that seemed to be a voice of my generation, “Here I am now-ENTERTAIN ME!”

I think about that now and smile…how LAME!  Nothing against the memory of Kurt Cobain, but I really hate that idea.  The idea that the world should revolve around ME and serve me.  I would rather sing, “Here I am now, how can I serve?”  Maybe not as catchy but MORE powerful in my opinion.

We are raising a new generation and I’m wondering, what will my children expect?  To be entertained 24/7 or to serve?

The answer to that question I believe will be determined by what we are teaching them today.  A powerful and practical way to help them remember they are not the sun and the world does not revolve around them is to let them engage in FREE PLAY!

Don’t be shocked but I’m going to use the “B” word’s okay sometimes for kids to be BORED!

Although that may seem almost like a bad word in our culture today, being bored has its rewards.  In fact, although kids may complain they are “dying of boredom”, so far no such death has been recorded.

Here is another shocker: my family didn’t get our first T.V. until I was thirteen.  No, we weren’t Amish but life without television had its perks.  It gave us time to shoot down the stairs in sleeping-bag-roller-coasters and build huge Lego towns.  And I’m sure my little brothers appreciated being me and my sister’s life-size dolls as we dressed them in princess outfits complete with rosy cheeks and lipstick.

Of course, I am not saying to never play with your kids or never let them watch T.V. (I would be frazzled some days without our little boob toob part-time babysitter), but I AM saying we need not smother-mother (i.e., hover over) children by thinking WE must entertain them every waking hour.

A moment of boredom with my children leads them (with a bit of idea assistance when they are still young) engage is some free play.  I love seeing what happens when my boys say they are bored and I LET them be bored…suddenly a clothes basket becomes a space-ship to Mars, a pile of neglected coloring books explode with colors and a dishtowel becomes the cape of a superhero who is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

You are one amazing and busy mama (or daddy) that already does A TON for your sweet lil’ offspring.  This is your permission to take a break! Let’s stop entertaining our kids every minute of the day and let them be a little bored…and witness the power of a child’s imagination.

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