Entertaining Your Child
In a large metropolitan city, such as New York, there are an infinite number of things for children and adults to do. Youngsters are constantly badgering their parents to take them somewhere here or there. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult for busy parents to decide how, when and where they should entertain their children. Parents must also decide to what extent a refusal to participate in some of these activities is detrimental to their children, especially when dealing with children who have mastered the “downtrodden and disheartened” looks when they are refused specific requests.
Like so many parents, you may feel guilty of not entertaining your child, and therefore, may feel compelled to spend a great deal of time doing child-oriented and child-pleasing activities. At this point, it becomes a question of how much should you sit through: how many G-rated movies, puppet shows and how many dizzying revolutions of carousels can you take? All of which are quite boring to most parents. Entertainment for both you and your child can be mutually enjoyable. It is all a matter of choice.
When choosing entertainment for your children, certain factors should be taken into consideration: their particular interests, age group, development level, and of course, your financial capabilities. You must be acutely aware of what interests your child specifically at various stages of growth. Activities which excite the 4 and 5 year olds would naturally become boring for that same child at 8 years of age. And don’t be surprised or disappointed when your attempt at togetherness and family solidarity becomes less appreciated and less exciting for the child as he or she becomes older and develops his or her own circle of friends.
The influence of the mass media (especially television) not only compounds the difficulties of deciding on entertainment, but also adds heavy competition for the family dollar. For example, advertisements for entertainment parks or similar amusements are presented in such an attractive way that parents often feel forced to take their children and more often than not, are disappointed because it is less exciting than presented on television and more expensive that ever imagined.
Careful planning, however, can help you overcome many of these difficulties. Planning allows you to create educational experiences which take into account time allotment, your child’s interests and abilities, and the realities of what is presented in fantasy, as opposed to what actually exists.
Specific entertainment for your child in and about the metropolitan New York area should of course include such activities as afternoons in the museums, Radio City Music Hall and of course the movies. But aside from these popular forms of entertainment, try trips to the country, picking strawberries, looking for wild flowers or birds, or a picnic in the park. These unpublicized, but nonetheless, recommended forms of entertainment can be used by many people whatever their resources.
Raise your child along with ROUTES for monthly suggestions on simple, imaginative forms of entertainment that can be educationally rewarding to your child and pleasantly delightful for you.