Life has become so complicated for our children. I grew up in an era where we didn't have cell phones or social media. Summers consisted of long days, bare feet, sunburns and friends. We spent our days jumping on the trampoline, swinging on the swing set, staring at the clouds, eating the fruit off the trees, the veggies in the garden, running through the sprinklers and playing hard all day until we literally dropped into bed. Occasionally we would watch cartoons on a Saturday morning. There wasn't a constant stream of media for us to consume. We had to be creative and play....just play. Do we allow our children to do those things? Are we encouraging our children to get outside, dig in the dirt, catch butterflies, build a fort. Or are we content to let them sit in a cool air conditioned room, attached to the television or screens? Children need sunshine, and freedom to explore, find new adventures and simply be kids, like we were. The experts at Parenting Science had this to say about children and sunlight:
"Bright light boosts mood and concentration. It may help prevent disease, circadian rhythm disorders, and nearsightedness. And new research suggests that bright light has a crucial impact on the brain: It may foster the formation of new synapses, and enhance our ability to learn."
The experts at Mommy Bites had this to say:
"Today’s parents feel the need to structure every hour of each day for their children, and this can result in the kids getting less fresh air and sunshine than is desirable for growing bodies. Children require time outdoors in order to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. Play allows children to stretch, develop little muscles and get their full day’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin D."
So this summer, send your kids outside to explore. Give them time to just be kids because adulthood is just around the corner and lasts the rest of their lives!! They're only kids once....