abbr: Keep It Simple Stupid

These kids of ours, they really don’t need much do they?

Swings. Sticks. Stones. Chalk. A bike. Paper. Colouring pencils. Playsilks. A doll. A couple of card games or board games or puzzles. Books.

And yet, as parents, we sometimes find ourselves buying them more stuff. Why? Surely it is  not because we enjoy yelling at them to clean up their rooms? What would happen if we took most of the stuff away?

I tell my kids  : “Only boring people get bored.”. But if they are “bored”, I usually leave them alone. I don’t fill up their empty space with an activity. More often than not, they find some kind of made up game to keep themselves occupied. There is fighting, oh there is a lot of fighting, but I consider that entertainment in itself. I should know.. I grew up with an older sister and we fought all the time.

If we think back to our childhoods, we didn’t have so much stuff. We probably did not even know the word bored‘. Most of us would say we had really happy childhoods, even without a million toys, books, puzzles and games. We played outside, had adventures with friends and our minds were happy with simple things.

So why then do today’s parents tend to buy so much stuff for their kids? Is it because it is cheaper? More accessible (one click ship anyone?)? What is going on?

xoxo, Rashmi

4 thoughts on “KISS”

  1. Lisa Eppley Pelusi

    ‘Last Child in the Woods’ concept – less freedom, space and opportunity to play outside. The landscape architect within me could not resist commenting on your terrific post!

    Oh – and I always liked the line, ‘There is no such thing as boredom, only failure of the imagination.’ ;)

  2. I think parents buy more because kids are mostly indoors (like Lisa said above). Growing up, we spent 90% of our awake time running around outside. Playing in the woods, wading in the creek (with snakes!), poking fire ant hills with big sticks, climbing trees, making mud pies, etc.

    We did all this without my mom. She didn’t entertain us. We entertained ourselves.

    Kids get bored indoors. But, I can’t let my kids run around outside by themselves. There is graffiti on the neighbor’s fence. Someone set the playground on fire recently. The list of various break-ins, assaults, etc. in the neighborhood is horrifying. Ugh!

  3. Lisa and Lana,
    Very good point. Perhaps when our kids are older, we can let them play outside more, without supervision? When we went to a vineyard last weekend (the picture above was taken there), it made my heart happy to see the kids just roaming the land, playing on swings, picking up sticks and acorns, throwing stones into the little lake.. just exploring and being kids. Really wish we could live in the country sometimes.

  4. I remember Pappu and I spent most of our childhood in trees, eating apples and reading books. We made up so many stories and scenarios. We never even knew that something called TV existed. We were all about books, jungle gyms, exploring “caves” etc. It was such an idyllic life. I pity all our kids today who have more than everything but it all amounts to almost nothing.

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