The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

“AHHH Mom! No TV! What Will I Do Now?” — 10 Things To Do Besides Watch TV

on July 18, 2012

In a past post about  the movie Gifted Hands, I discussed how much Ben Carsons’ mother, Sonya Carson, inspired me.  She set very clear boundaries for her two boys, and she held them to the highest standards.  Of course, the children didn’t like it at the time; however, it paid off because one became the world’s best neurosurgion and the other became an engineer.  Their mother’s determination and focus played a major role in their success.

One of her rules only allowed her boys to watch 2 pre-selected TV shows a week.  Their free time was filled with reading!  I have compiled a list of 10 activities we can have our kids do other than watch tv.

1) READ — You knew this had to be number one on the least for several reasons.  1) I am an English teacher. 2) Sonya Carson made her boys read. 3) Reading is an amazing skill that will impact you in numerous ways.  Want to find ways to encourage your children to read?  Check out this post.

2) GET CREATIVE — Encourage your children’s imagination with some great activities such as puppet shows, scrapbooking, or play dough.  This is a great opportunity to find activities that interest your child and maybe discover a new talent.  And yes, this means you have to get off the TV and computers too!  Remember lead by example!

3) GET ACTIVE — Burn some energy and develop some muscle!  This is another great opportunity to share a sport that you love or develop talents of your child.  You can do something as simple as go for a walk or a bike ride or something more complicated as get a neighborhood kickball game going.  Whatever you do make it fun!

4) VOLUNTEER – I deeply regret that I didn’t get my oldest daughter more involved with volunteer opportunities when she was younger.  Volunteering is not only a terrific way for kids to get out, but it also teaches them about service and helping others as well. There are lots of agencies that would be happy to have children volunteer, provided an adult comes along too. Suggestions include Meals on Wheels, local nursing homes, local library, and I know there are many others.

5) TAKE A FIELD TRIP — I am sure there are some amazing places for you to visit with your children right in your town.  A local park, a museum, or a local garden/farm are great suggestions.  This summer I plan to take Fa to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The exposure helps young people broaden their horizons and see life from different perspectives.

6) CELEBRATE — I think we should celebrate more!  Celebrate what you say?  Well, how about the “UNbirthday” party?  Or have a party because it is Tuesday?  Or celebrate the fact that it is July?  I don’t know — just party like it is 1999.  Turn on some music dance, play party games, and eat cake (that you baked together of course)!

7) PLAY A GAME — There are a million games to play, and there are so many skills that children learn when playing games, and they don’t even know they are learning something!  Play “I Spy”, hide and go seek, charades, Simon Says, flashlight tag, and don’t forget the countless board games and card games you probably have tucked away in the closest.  My two oldest children still laugh about a game we played one time at the beach, and I acted like a pirate!  Obviously, I was a very funny pirate because they fall on the floor laughing each time someone brings it up!

8) BUILD SOMETHING — Building something is on my Summer Bucket List!  Creating something develops the very important skill of problem-solving!  You can make it as simple as building a fort in the living room or as complicated as building a tree house!  Whatever it is do it together and have fun!

9) LEARN SOMETHING NEW — “You never know until you try it.”  Let your children try new things.  Teach them how to bake, to identify the stars, or to make origami.  Who knows what you may discover.

10) BE STILL — Sound strange in this day and age when everyone is go, go, go!  Some of my favorite times were sitting under the mimosa tree with my grandparents.  We didn’t talk.  We just sat.  We were still!  It quiets the soul and is a skill that most of our children have not mastered.  Help them learn the beauty of being still.

Enjoy life!!!  Live life!!!  Don’t just watch it!!


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