I was reminiscing this weekend, as my kids were playing outside in 60 degree weather with no jackets and the sun shining bright, about how my ENTIRE childhood seemed to center around being OUTSIDE. Most of my childhood memories involve playing little league baseball, waiting for my friends to come home from school EVERY DAY so we could play football or ride go karts or play basketball, boating and fishing, riding waverunners, and always asking “can we go outside”.
I don’t feel like we are headed in that direction with our kids as much as I would like. They aren’t outdoors enough and they don’t ask to go outside as much as I remember asking…but there are some factors that are different about their childhood than mine and maybe some things I am not remembering correctly. Here are some thoughts:
- I grew up mostly in Florida. They are growing up in the Pacific NW. That is most certainly DIFFERENT. Should it be a good reason for them to not be outside as much as I was growing up? Not sure.
- Maybe I just don’t remember being 5. Maybe all those memories are from older years when I was more capable of self-supervision. Not sure. I’ll ask my parents.
- Some of the things that were just normal life when I grew up WAAAAAY back in the 80’s and 90’s (sort of a joke there) are just not done anymore. Not sure if that is for good reason or unwarranted paranoia. I think probably mostly for good reason. For instance, we had no cell phones or instant communication but we would get on our bikes when we were 10 and be gone for HOURS. We just knew when we had to be back. I cannot imagine doing that with my kids at 10 now.
- I was homeschooled for most of my childhood (4th grade on). Although most of my memories of being outdoors involve friends in the neighborhood, being homeschooled may have just allowed for more time outdoors.
What do you think? Do your kids spend tons of time outdoors? Do you live in the PNW and just bundle them up or put rain gear on them? Do you make them go outside?