We babysat my niece (8) and nephew (7) for the last few days, which just so happened to coincide with a class my girls have.
Well, the cousins were bored without my kids all day long and their four year old cousin wasn’t entertaining enough. They both wanted to go home. And they said this repeatedly.
My husband and I were talking about it last night. Apparently, they can’t entertain themselves. They depend on my kids to come up with the games and, in essence, lead. They have no imaginations, constantly needing outside stimulation.
Why? I kept wondering.
It hit me this morning: play-dates.
When I first heard the term play-dates when my kids were infants, I thought it absurd. Seriously? I didn’t have play-dates when I was kid. I just played. There was no “dating” involved.
Well, every time I talk to my sister, her kids have friends over. When she doesn’t have friends over, her kids only want to play video games and watch TV. So she constantly has other kids over to “entertain” her kids so her kids won’t watch TV (apparently she doesn’t understand the term “no”).
As you may have guessed, we don’t do play-dates. Partly because we move all the time so my kids have no established friends. But partly because it’s a hassle to me–Miss Non-Social who’d rather write all day than chit-chat. It takes up way too much of my time. I’d like for my kids to have friends and I hope to improve upon this once we establish roots. And, yes, have their friends over–sometimes.
My kids have no problems entertaining themselves and I guess I’m spoiled by this. I really don’t know how to “entertain” my niece and nephew. Due to the heat where we live, we’ve been stuck inside most of the day so parks are out of the question as well as most other outdoor things.
Maybe I’m wrong. I’m sure there are “socialization” benefits (something else I don’t agree with the preponderance of) as well as other things I’m missing.
What do you all think?