This weekend the weather in Atlanta was beautiful. Nice and sunny; not too hot; not too cold; low humidity. It was just right.
It was the perfect weekend to spend outside doing something active.
My husband and I went outside both days. Saturday we went outside of our neighborhood to go 4 miles. Sunday was spent at the park doing our 5 mile half-marathon training.
Sunday afternoon, we heard really loud voices outside. It was a lady talking to her son. She had situated herself outside on the lawn, in a chair with her laptop while her son played in the driveway. How nice, right? She took her work outside so they could both enjoy the weather and get some fresh air. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
She was basically scolding him and cursing because he was bringing too many toys outside to play with. She was telling him that he had ruined his chances of ever coming outside again because all he was supposed to do was chalk and ride his bike. His punishment was he was going to have to spend the rest of the day inside.
I heard all of this because voices travel and she was loud enough that her conversation flowed into my house. Needless to say, my heart went out to her little boy. He was probably 4 or 5. All he wanted was to play outside on a beautiful day. All he got was a miserable mother basically scolding him the entire time saying she was NEVER going to do this again.
I don’t know what that mom is going through. I don’t know what stress she has. I don’t know what she is dealing with in her job or her relationship with her family. I just don’t know.
What I do know is that fewer and fewer children are asking to go outside. Most of them want to play video games all day or be on the computer.
I have a favor to ask you. NO matter how busy you are, no matter what is going on during a beautiful weekend, if your child asks to go outside, will you please let them? Let them be the kids we used to be playing outside until the street lights came on. Let them enjoy the sunshine. Hey…why don’t you go out with them. Take them to the park. Have the whole family go on a walk. Go outside and play a game of tag or hide and go seek. Do SOMETHING active.
You both might just benefit from it.