Children vs time & money

All kids like to watch TV, and while I’m not against screen time, I do prefer to have a hand in what my boy watches. By that I mean I try to advise Noah, my five year old son, what I feel is nonsense and what is not. Not that I’m an expert, but there really is a lot of crap out there that I don’t feel adds to his mental growth. I also kind of base it on what I watched and how I grew up, and the way people advise on how kids need to be brought up these days.

So what brings me to writing this blog today? Well we introduced Noah to the Teenage mutant ninja turtles. A program I’m pretty sure is known world wide, even though it was from the last millennium. And he has quite taken to it, which I don’t mind. What that has done is sparked an interest in some of the toys that you may not be able to get anymore, or if you can they will come at a price that I’m not necessarily happy to pay. But if you cant get the toys how do you satisfy the need your kids have to want to play. My choice – make them.

Does that mean that I don’t love my child because I’m not wanting to spend crazy amounts of money? Or does it mean that I love him more because I’m willing to invest time in making them for him? Time is something we all seem to be short of these days, so surely time you choose to invest over simply clicking a purchase button is the better option, isn’t it? Its a debate that I have in my head quite often.

I currently have some time on my hands as I’m booked off work with my leg in a cast, so I managed to set up some tools and materials I would use to make some Sai swords that his favorite turtle Raphael, uses. It took me most of the day to do, as hobbling around on one foot and using a kneeling scooter isn’t easy or fast. Plus it was very much a “wing it ” project, so if its not well thought out it takes time. But if I wasn’t booked off, would I still do it? I would. Lets say on a Saturday that I don’t work or on a Sunday. This now brings me back to the question about loving him more or less and time over money.

As a parent I notice that a lot of people and parents choose convenience over time. I do it too with many things. But I feel as parents we maybe doing it to much when it comes to our kids. Just order the toys too keep them happy, just put on the TV to keep them out of our hair, so that we can carry on with what’s important to us, utilizing our time for ourselves. But I enjoy working with my hands and I want my boy to be happy, so I will invest the time to make him some toys.

Now maybe this isn’t an option for other parents. But my wife gave it a go with some cardboard and some tin foil, and he was quite happy with them. Even though they were kind of floppy swords, he could still indulge his imagination with them. And that’s also a key thing. Let them use their imagination. The shell he made out of a cardboard box doesn’t seem to phase him, and its literally square still, so why should home made wooden toys have a negative affect? Just because they are not perfectly symmetrical or well painted doesn’t mean he wont have fun. Don’t be afraid to invest in your own imagination, and invest your own time to be part of your kids world.

It is important to have your own time, but what is actually considered your own time over time with and for your kid? Sitting on social media, or drinking coffee at a shop while sitting on social media. Its just a way of passing time, to switch off from our schedule. But couldn’t switching off from our schedule include getting creative? And being creative can be cheaper. Or is that the cheapskate in me rearing its head? I’m not to sure.

I think it becomes a problem as kids get older. Fussing about how things look I mean. I remember my dad taking on projects for me and I remember loving the fact that I could play. And honestly, yes I can remember being older and starting to have an issue with things being improvised. But having said that, I remember more the fact that I was happy playing, and not so much the appearance of what I was playing with. Could it be our society and keeping up with the Jones’s that is also distracting us from the capability of imagination our kids have? And having bragging rights as to what we spend on our kids?

Time for ourselves is important, and yes money is important, but our kids are important too. They didn’t ask to be here, so surely we can give a little time and money. But I feel we can do better in applying each factor to our and our children’s lives.

And I’m guilty of it, even in the project I took on in making Noah’s swords. I found an easy way of getting it done. How? Well I looked up a template on the internet and used one that somebody else designed and put up for use. I could have gone about designing a shape myself, but …. wait for it…. it was to time consuming. Plus I’m a shitty artist so it just made sense to get a design elsewhere.

So while I am guilty of considering time over money for my boy, I just wanted to put an idea out there, incase anybody else struggles with these things as well. Surely I cant be that unique that I’m the only one who thinks about these things. But maybe it will inspire somebody who does struggle with this to give it a shot, and get creative. You may just surprise yourself with what you can come up with. And I’m sure your kids will enjoy it to. And they will definitely enjoy spending time with you.

Check put the design link and the page here https://youtu.be/IZ_oL7nrl7E its pretty cool.

Published by Paul Geppert

I have a wide range of interests, ranging from the kitchen to the garage, from race tracks to the ocean. I enjoy new adventures and challenges. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa with my mother and father and older sister. I now live in Auckland New Zealand with my wife and son.

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