For those that don’t know, I’m 48. I grew up in a few different places. Troy, NY, Putnam/Ticonderoga, NY and in Whitehall, NY. I know I must sound like that old guy that I didn’t want to turn out like but something recently has me wondering about the children of today. If we tell the kids of today to, “Go out and play,” will they know what to do?
Today’s children have their recreational schedules very tight. Tee-ball Monday night at 6:15. Scouts Tuesday night at 7:00. Kids With White T-Shirts meeting Wednesday at 5:30. Soccer Thursday at 6:00. Horse riding lessons Friday at 4:30. You get it, I’m sure. They are very busy but would they know what to do when told to go out and play?
As a kid growing up, when I was told to go out and play, I would do just that. If that meant trying to round-up 6 or 7 kids to play 3 Fly’s In, kickball, hide-n-go-seek, rouse or a small game of football, I would hit the pavement and do it. We loved being outside, being active and organizing these activities ourselves.
Kids now have so much of their “Free Time” planned, that they are missing out on one of the greatest things about being a kid. That is, “Being A Kid.”
When putting games together with neighborhood rules, we learned how to think on our feet. How to play within our own rules. There wasn’t a need for everyone to get an adult to play referee. Go have uniforms. Be set to a schedule that would exhaust anyone.
Learning how to get along and how to work with others that you didn’t necessarily get along with all the time was all part of it. The kids of today just don’t have that chance. Some would call it problem solving. The kids would have to figure it out. A learning experience.
I wish today’s kids well. I know that the good old days weren’t always that good. I just hope that someday the kids will be able to just go out and play.