I read the other day that the average parent spends about 38.5 minutes a week in conversation with his or her child.
Thirty eight and a half minutes!!! A week!!!
I was never good at story problems, and I’m not sure I could pass algebra again, but even I can do that math: that comes out to only 5.5 minutes a day. And we wonder why we have things like school shootings, alarming teen pregnancy rates, record numbers of high school dropouts, and teachers that can’t teach because they’re spending too much time…parenting.
We’ve got to do better than that, folks. The culprits to this problem are legion. Long hours at work. After school activities. Distractions of the electronic variety. Obviously, it’s hard to have conversations when you’re not spending time together, and it’s hard to get too deep about things when one (or both) of you are zoned into the TV.
The problem is not as much about being unable to come up with ideas on how to spend quality time, but rather of having the desire and commitment to actually create some of it. That being said, if you are a parent and you are looking for something you and the kids can do besides watch he glowing box, I’d like to introduce you to the Toymaker, a.k.a. Marilyn Scott-Waters. Her goal is to help grownups and kids spend time together making things.
She has a charming site chock full of neat paper toys and things you can make yourself. (In fact, this might be more of a reminder than an introduction, as over 2 million paper toys have been downloaded from her web site.) I know this will come as a shock to you, dear reader (I know I have at least one), but I dare say that you don’t even need to have kids to enjoy this site. Downloading a project and spending a few minutes working on it is a great to thwart Adultitis. (And avoid those TPS reports.)
If you do have kids — or grandchildren — head on over to see what the Toymaker has to offer. Spend a little quality time working on a project or two, and maybe we can get that average up to 45 minutes a week.
Oh, and if your TV blows up or you plan on heading west in a covered wagon Laura Ingalls Wilder style, you might want to check these out.
[tags]tv, parenting, television, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Adultitis, Marilyn Scott-Waters, Toymaker, craft projects[/tags]