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Parents Talk: You're Done with It, but Are the Kids?

What if you've seen or done something enough for a lifetime, but younger folks haven't?

Whiz, boom. Ooh, ahh. Yawn. 

As we age, we tire of fireworks.

But it takes a few decades, and most kids are not there yet. So we pack a blanket or a sheet to sit on and head for another fireworks show, whether at a festival or for the Fourth. Even if we're bored, the kids aren't.

What is the line between teaching kids your values, and letting dislikes or "been-there-done-that" restrict the richness of their young lives?

Take Disneyland and Disneyworld. Maybe they don't have quite the pull they did when I was a kid. But I got to go to each one once during visits to cousins in California and grandparents in Florida. My kids don't beg to go to Disneyland; they don't even mention it. Do they not know or not care? Or have they picked up on the fact that I for one never need to go to either place again?

Or take boating and canoeing. We don't own either kind of watercraft (I should turn in my Native Minnesotan card, I know). But I haven't forgotten how it felt as a kid on the bottom of a boat while a grownup at the outboard motor plies choppy lake waves. Or to take my turn sitting at the stern of a canoe, steering a course for the first time. As a parent, have I done all I could to give my kids those experiences—renting a boat or borrowing a canoe if necessary?

What activity or experience have you had enough of? Do you make sure your kids experienced it anyway, or do you skip it?

rob_h78 July 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I am relatively new to Minnesota and having grown up on the coast of California I have pretty much zero percent experience with winter \ snow activities so my young son and I are experiencing winter activities together for the first time and are having a blast learning how to snowmobile, cross country ski, sled, etc...
Joshua July 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I think that children value and have fun with activities based on the amount of enthusiasm that the parents exhibit, plain and simple. In my family, fireworks are a big deal because dad is still a kid at heart, and my kids love the 4th of July.
Becky Glander July 06, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I agree, Joshie. The more enthusiastic we are as parents, the more kids get excited. And then it's just more fun for everyone.
John Swanson July 06, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Parents need to balance their own needs with those of the children. However, parenting requires sacrifice and many times we must do something because it is best for our children. On the other hand, chidren need to learn that they may be the center of their parents universe for a time, but eventually children grow up and must be responsible for their own behavior. As an empty nester, my wife and I enjoy being with our sons doing most anything they want to do. Our sons do know what we enjoy and they often suggest activities we'll enjoy too. Sometimes just "hanging out" together is the best choice.
Frances Egan July 12, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Having children has made me want to do all those things I was bored of again just to see it through her eyes. That's part of the fun of being a parent. It opens doors to new experiences because you are doing them with your child.

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