I read this article, and as a mom I have to say, it's scarey to turn my kids loose outside all day. I worry about today's society. Neighbors are not watching each other's kids like they used to. And I certainly can't neglect my chores, job search responsibilities, and meal preparations in order to be out there with them every minute of the day. In fact, today we can't even trust our neighbors. I've heard too many storys of children being kidnapped out of their own yards or while riding their bikes. And sometimes the child is being held in the basement of the neighbors house, while the neighbor pretends to help look for the child. I may be a little paranoid- but my kids are safe. They only go out when I am able to keep a really close eye on them. I do prefer them to play inside for this reason- unless I am able to be outside with them or we make a family trip to the park. I do believe in playing board games, cards, dancing to music, reading, and playing inside rather than watching TV all day though. I like the video games from WII and XBox that require movement and encourage those as well.
I want a YMCA membership, but it is too expensive. I applied for financial assistance and they were only willing to reduce the monthy fee by $10. That certainly didn't do enough to make it affordable. I want to take my kids swimming and rock wall climbing... I want them to have these experiences and I want them to learn to enjoy the gym. But when you are on a fixed income it makes it pretty challenging. If Planet Fitness can offer memberships for $10 a month with no joining fee, why can't a non-profit organization like the YMCA offer something better than $50 a month and a joining fee for a family of 3? It's ridiculous. I do partly blame communities and society in general for this epidemic.
My son is in scouts and my daughter is in gymnastics. My son is overweight, but not obese. I don't buy many sweets for the house- but they get candy at school all the time, I can't be there with him to make sure he makes the right choices at lunch time, I can't go on all his camping trips to make sure he limits his smores intake or that he politely refuses the junk food he is offered by other scouts... or that the meals they have are nutritious. But he is learning a lot of other important life skills in scouts, and for their social development I believe it is important that they are involved in and belong to something outside of school. I can't do these things and pay for a gym membership at the YMCA on my income as a single parent who is unemployed. Then you have grandparents and after school care (when I'm working)... that could be another whole paragraph. My point is... a child's experience in life and the habits he/she picks up can come from any number of people or social situations that parents are not always a part of. I can express my concerns to grandparents- but when they don't listen, do I forbid my chlld to spend time with them? I'd like to see these concerns addressed in an article. A single parent's good example may not go far when the rest of the world isn't walking the same line. I face similar challenges with religion and morals in general as well, among other things.
I know there are things that I could improve on at home.. and I am working on those things now. However, I believe our communities could do a lot more to help out, but they won't because of greed and lack of a genuine commitment to community. There are a lot of "concerns" expressed, but everyone is still expected to fit into some catagory or some set of policies and proceedures apply... there is no case by case consideration, no "concern" if you can't check box A, or don't fit into category B. And it seems like everyone is so self-centered and the focus seems to mostly be on individualism instead of community betterment... and more and more often, those of us who are the most deserving of some temporary assistance fall through the cracks. As a parent I can only do so much to shape the mind (and body) of my children, the rest is greatly impacted by our society and our communities.
- 1/28/2013 9:55:52 AM