This is a serious issue. Our children do not know how to entertain or keep busy by themselves. Growing up, I remember my Mom throwing open the back door and saying “You better be home when the street lights come on.” (I grew up in New York.) We needed to keep ourselves busy with our friends and outdoors activity. I used to love to play a game called “a— up” or “butts up” for those who are shy. It was a handball game but if you missed too many times, you had to face the wall while the other players tried to hit you in the bottom. Thinking about those times still makes me laugh.
I knew that era was over when one of my “kiddos” asked me “How do you turn this thing on?” for a push car. I was stunned! Didn’t he know that he should be saying, “v-room,” “beep beep,” or “honk honk.” At this time, even Fisher Price doesn’t require our child to make sounds for their farm animals. These environmental sounds are the precursors to speech. When some children don’t make sounds with their toys, they don’t develop sound combinations. Okay, this reminds me of my sister-in-law. My nephew was showing signs of being speech and language delayed. My sister-in-law had an electronic toy that had pictures of “family members.” She would sit in front of him and press the “Mommy” key over and over again in hopes of teaching him to say it. Wow! As the computer generation, have we completely forgotten how to interact with a child? I hope not and want to teach everyone that it is great to play “stupid” or “silly” with your child. The best compliment I get from my two boys is, “Mom, you’re so goofy.” This tells me I’m doing my job!