Yes, yes and yes! This is perfect!! I’ve thought this forever! It reminds
me of an upcoming summer break I was stressing over, because I didn’t have
money for fun and didn’t know what I’d do with the kids. My backyard
was in desperate need of love. I prayed one day or many days over what to do
that summer. The thought came to work in the backyard with the kids. I was
surprised and maybe annoyed at first but we did it. We probably worked in our
yard for three summers and my kids still speak about fondly. Thank you!
Why can't you teach your kids that work is fun? I have fun when I go to
work, and my son and I have fun gardening, straightening up the house, etc. He
actually says, "Mom, this is fun!" If you teach kids to enjoy working,
they can see life as fun AND be productive!
I'm not sure why so many people think life has to be this great big ole
ball of whatever mess they create. My kids are perfectly happy with reading
books, going to baseball practice, playing with each other and being lazy. We
don;t do "play dates", we don't do "keeping up with the
Jones'" or anything of the sort. I'm disabled and am in a
wheelchair, my kids understand that daddy cannot and won't do things like
other families because of of and they're fine with that. Do I wish that all
the money we spend on activities was worth every penny, of course I do, but hey,
once it's gone it's gone. We plan our trips to Costco, Walmart, etc to
go walk around and browse because it'll get the kids out and about, we pick
up whatever we need and then the family heads back home to watch a movie. Life
needs to be simple.
I love having fun and my favorite thing to do is to play video games (hence my
screen name) but life is all about work first and fun 2nd. If you can teach them
that they should turn out well in life and be able to make a living first and
have the fun come 2nd. I sure wish someone taught me that sooner in life, it
sure would have made my 20's smoother. Lol
Spot on. I am surprised there was any negative feedback to this, I can only
assume those readers did not read the article in its entirety. It shows both
balance and wisdom. There is no "un-fun-ness" about it; the author
still believes in fun and enjoying life, but is simply emphasizing the need to
teach and show children that there's more to life than being entertained.
Sorely needed in today's society of constant entertainment and low
work/productivity for children as compared with eras past (such as when working
on the family farm doing early morning chores was a normal thing).
Brook has amazingly white teeth!
Looking back, I'd say that my mom and dad never taught me that life would
be fun, or that I would always be in a state of life where everything would be
fun, but they did teach me to find ways to make the boring and mundane more
enjoyable. I believe parents these days over indulge their children with instant
gratification; an X-Box here, and I-phone there; trips to the splash pad, which
are all good and well, but I was the ultimate decider on whether I had fun or
not. It wasn't mom and dad's job to ensure that I had fun.
Oh I know what you mean. My niece and nephew and step kids get upset if they are
not continually fed entertainment. I was thinking about the same thing, how
these kids are frustrated when not having "fun". I myself am guilty of
feeding that desire, to constantly have fun. I am glad to hear someone else
notice the same problem.I like your ideas of asking of what they did
instead of if they had fun. I would like the kids I am with to learn to enjoy
themselves and learning instead of being upset at not having fun. Thank you for the post.
As a parent who raised two boys and two girls, with the assistance and support
of a wonderful Wife, their Mother, I can understand this article and the point
Mrs. Romney is making. At the ages of 16-18, all of our children had jobs in
order to have extra money to "have fun,"and they learned skills that
aided them in life. To me that is an acceptable balance.My wife and
I also have 19 Grandchildren, and out of that group, only three have found any
success in working and developing skills. One is a Marine, now in Africa; one
is a Manager of a Sports Bar, one a Manager in an electronics store, the last a
legal secretary. They are all very smart and still very young. They learned
responsibilities early in life, like their parents. The remaining are still
having a lot of "fun," but as I discussed with my children, they all
need to be more responsible, and not grow up thinking that they are entitled, to
or are"owed" anything from anyone. We'll see.
"Did you learn something?""Did you feel productive?""Did you work hard?"Wow--"Did you try your
best?""Were you a good friend?""Did you try
something new?""Did you push yourself?""Did you make
someone's day better?""Did you add value?""Did
you create something?""Did you grow?""Did you
discover something?""Did you change the world today, even in a
small way?"If I came in from a game of Whiffle Ball and my mom
asked me these, I think my response would be--"Hey Mom? I WAS having fun,
but I'm not at this moment....."
Mom of eight. I think the mom feels entitled to having four boys who
are accountable in their commitments to several different things almost all of
her choosing. Heck it's entitlement that the kids have school, church
activities, music, sports, hobbies... I wish people would get away from this
notion that connects the word entitlement to money only. Entitlement is
expecting the team coach to excuse your child from the game because you are
overscheduled. Entitlement is expecting your kid to always be in a class with
their best friend since preschool. Entitlement is only letting your kid have 30
minutes of unstructured time on a Tuesday because they had every other waking
minute decided for them in which they were expected to perform for school,
family, chores, music practice, homework, scouts, and tagging along to their
Sometimes I despair over the reading comprehension ability of the American
public when I read comments on these articles. People rail against things that
were NOT said in the article, and they read things into the article that
aren't there. And they so often take offense--usually at something the
author didn't even say. I guess many of these comments function as a
Rorschach test--they tell far more about the person writing the comment than
about the referenced article. Good job, Brooke. Kids will pay
attention to the things we parents do. If we always ask if they are having fun,
that will be come paramount. Helping them recognize the value of other things
too--a job well done, concern that someone else has a good experience, looking
for things to learn and do better--all these things make life truly fun. Often
kids miss that important lesson if it's not pointed out to them.
I'll be honest, the first mental image I had while reading this article was
the scene near the beginning of "The Sound of Music" where the Von Trapp
father calls his children to formation at the bottom of the stairs in their
home. I really think what troubled me (and probably a number of the people who
commented here) is comparing fun to drugs. I've never heard of anyone
(outside of an addict) suggesting taking meth, crack or speed in moderation, so
I think it gives the image of something that must be completely avoided. I
think the author does get the right idea, that life isn't one continuous
party after the other, but at the same time you can find fun in other
activities. I do enjoy weed pulling more with either some fun music with good
energy and rhythm or if some nut wants to come and help me, then we can also
talk and have a good time together doing so. Between this and the article with
the mom who didn't show strong emotion at sending their child out on a
mission, the Desnews feels to be promoting pretentiousness rater than
Work, learning, service to others all can be fun if you approach it with the
Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.......I'm pretty sure that having fun is alright. Nothing brings me more
joy, or makes me feel closer to heaven than hearing my kids laugh.
I get what she is trying to say, but I think she is saying it wrong; and I think
there is additional perspective. Life SHOULD be about having fun, but fun
isn't always expensive, or done on vacation or staycations. My boys are
taught that fun comes not only through those things, but in learning and
serving. When my kids come home from school and they haven't had fun, and
their answer is, "because the teacher is always yelling at us, or kids are
mean, or I couldn't pay attention," then I have asked the right
question. Most times their answer is awesome, followed with a small success
they felt, or even better a success they saw someone else have. Life is fun! We
have to stop getting bogged down in guilt and sorrow. We should see the good
and lift each other, and in that we should find fun. And if our children
can't fun, then they need to have their priorities re-situated. This
article would be better written if she redifined fun.
There is nothing wrong with a child asking for some fun in his/her prayers. What
is wrong is an adult asking for the opposite in their prayers. Life should be
fun. Life's chores and burdens should be measured by the fun scale.
p.s. I do freely admit that the title Brooke chose for her article has probably
lead to many of the critical or opposing comments posted. Title writers do have
a penchant for wording them in a way to stimulate interest in the readers, but I
often find them to be at least misleading if not misguided.
@USAlover"Why is Utah the leading state, THE LEADING STATE, in
anti-depressant use?"Because we have the highest percentage of
insured people and people who have access to healthcare, so they tend to get
their depression treated instead of just "dealing with it." But
that's beside the point.Digressing, I've noticed that
several people have mentioned service being fun. Service isn't always fun.
Fun leads to happiness, but meaningful service leads to joy. Learn the
difference between happiness and joy - there is one.Also, LDS youth
leaders tend to fall into the "fun" trap. Remember, your job is not to
give the kids fun, it's to get them to feel the spirit and be converted. If
you have fun along the way, great. But fun isn't the central purpose of
youth activities, and yes, apostles and prophets have confirmed what I just
ste7000, Finally, a rational comment about the truth in Brooke's article.
I wholeheartedly agree with her thoughts on this matter. It is my opinion that
her point was that it is NOT wise for a parent to ensure that their children are
emotionally feeling "fun" 24x7x365. That approach, in fact, would lead
to a gross misunderstanding and mis-calibration of expectations about the
realities of life. Kids who may be raised with this mis-calibrated set of
expectations due to an over-protective parent that immediately intervenes the
nanosecond her/his child senses an emotion that is not "FUN" is doomed
to experience a paralyzing shock of emotions, and will wilt in the face of
life's realities and would quickly start looking for someone to blame for
their perceived misfortunes. Such parents would be doing them a huge disservice.
Brooke never said anything about ripping "FUN" out of her
children's lives, but rather more wisely pumping "JOY" into them
instead. ROCK ON BROOKE!!!
She is describing an over scheduled and over structured lifestyle. There
isn't enough time to play when you are always on at church, school,
practice, at a family event. That is why the kids want the activity to be fun.
There is no down time and the brain needs that. Hold the accountable
doesn't sound like taking out the stress but adding to it.
I don't know Grannie...I see a manufactured photo? What I read in the
article is a whole lot of need for control. Kids need to be guided and coached,
not controlled and forced. They are not our "people" to create, they are
their own people who need guidance and love. On the flip side, I do see parents
who do the opposite, as opposed to trying to control their kids they allow
themselves to be controlled by their kids, where the entire family culture and
lifestyle revolves around Mom and Dad accommodating the activities of their
kids. If that is what is meant by fun then I can agree with the need to reduce
that accommodation, but not by replacing it with pretentious brute force
"tough love" theoretical parenting billed as wisdom.
My mission President gave me some advice that I really liked. There was a trend
among some missionaries to try and outperform others. If the handbook said get
out of bed by 6:00, they got up at 5:00, and then would find ways to push their
views on others, kind of like the emaciated public fasters that Jesus
criticized. My MP said, "you know, the Gospel is already by design hard to
live. We shouldn't make it our job to make it harder by imposing our own
made up rules". That's how I read this article.
I can't disagree with the values of being productive or being a good
friend, but I am confused why these folks think it has to be one or the other.
It is a puritan way of thinking that these values are necessarily in conflict
with iPhones or "media" (our favorite nebulous enemy). The last message
I would want to send to my kids is "I don't care". The authors
criticize the manufactured "fun" that they have suddenly become superior
to and then proceed to tell us how they intend to manufacture these
"stronger" relationships with their kids. It still sounds like
manufacturing to me?
I don't think that the right word for what this mom is describing is
"fun". The right word for her kids (and many other kids) is
"entitled". What she is describing in this article is the life and
attitude of entitled children. It is important to teach our children to enjoy
working hard and to serving others. In other words to have fun working and
serving. Having fun is a good thing. Being entitled is not. Those are two
very different things in my opinion.
Why is Utah the leading state, THE LEADING STATE, in anti-depressant use?
I have a metaphor that I have used to teach young adults and teens over the
years. Life is not a Love boat, or carnival cruise floating around endlessly
partying and docking occasionally for even more adventures and fun. While there
are plenty of adventures and get things to be seen and experienced along the way
there are also hazards and challenges we need to be aware of. Life can be
likened more to a Naval Vessel that is prepared and practiced to meet those
challenges by having a stated goal and mission. Whether it is mother nature in
the form of storms as we will all face storms in life, or challenges that come
about as a result of aggression, work, and even sometimes play. Why is this so
important for these youth to understand? Because they are forming expectations
and because the world has many snares that can cause harm or even early death.
While the Navy ship is but a snapshot of life in it's many varieties it is
visual enough to get across nan environment of continual hyper electronic
stimulation. Which also is like a drug and the subject of a whole other talk.
Joseph Smith once said that if you always have a bow strung tight, it will lose
it's spring. He once told a friend for whom he was concerned to have a bit
more fun in his life, and said that if he didn't, he would die. This friend
later did die an early death.Children instinctively want to play,
and rejoice in each day. As adults, if we're not careful, we can lose that
innate characteristic and become "all about business". Finding the right
balance between "wholesome recreational activities" and the rest of our
duties is a must for a truly happy life. There is value in fun. There is value
in hard work. Often they are one in the same thing. Rarely is something truly
enjoyable achieved without some work and preparation on our part. "Wholesome recreation is part of our religion, and a change of pace is
necessary, and even its anticipation can lift the spirit.” ~ Ezra Taft
There is a time and a season and for children, yes, life should be fun and
stimulating. When they're 50 they can stress out and have ulcers...
The author listed the problem and her plans to fix it. Nothing's been done
yet. Hopefully she'll write again and let us know how things worked out.
I think most of the negative comments come from a misunderstanding of the
author's use of the word "fun." She isn't saying she's
taking the enjoyment out of her kids lives. Just the opposite! I agree with the
sentiment in her writing, which I believe is meant to say that kids do not need
entertainment for the sake of being entertained. They do not need days to be
filled with never-ending activities designed to keep them comfortable and
smiling. Kids need to learn that real enjoyment and "fun" happens when
you work hard, accomplish something, and reap the benefits of that! Rock on
Romney family. I think you're onto something great
Again - I am not sure why any of the activities that the author enumerates are
mutually exclusive of "having fun". I can honestly say I have a job
that most of the time is fun. When working in the yard together my kids and I
have fun. When we are working on their Scout advancements, we have fun. Even
when we do service for others - we have fun. Maybe not always the same kind of
fun as riding a roller coaster, but it is still fun.Work, doing
good, doing the right thing.... can and should be fun.
Form the beginning of man--(at least since I was born), a common lament of kids
is "I'm bored, I have nothing to do." Some parents reply,
"well, I can think of lots of chores you can do." Other parents might
respond with something they did for fun when they were young--which is usually
quickly dismissed as "stupid." Other parents may feel the need to
create activities, though usually the kids figure something out--or not.
Different families have different levels of energy. Some adults are high
energy--always looking for "fun" and social activities while other
adults may enjoy a slower more relaxed pace which is reflected in the family
environment. Somehow it usually works out despite our parental
tendency to over-analyze.
CaliCougar... She DID talk about balance:"We love to play sports, take
walks, visit the theater, attend concerts, hike, play games, swim, watch movies
and just be together. But this year we will work hard together too."
This gist of this story is: we weren't born to be entertained. Not the
purpose of life (based on what I know).We have to be active
participants in this life. Some times the scenery is amazing and sometimes the
scenery is monotonous...and sometimes we are too busy shoveling coal to
notice...lolLet's enjoy the journey the best we can...cope with
it when we have to, and be grateful for it at the end of the trip.
Oh come on now. We must let kids be kids. They will learn soon enough that for
most of us, life is about doing what you have to do rather than doing what
you'd like to do.
Mary Poppins would be so disappointed in you. XD"In every job
that must be done, there is an element of fun."Personally, I
like to wish everyone to have the kind of day they deserve.
the author must be a liberal they tend to take the fun out of everything.
I guess I get it. But, having fun is also something that has too be learned.
Turning dull tasks into fun challenges is an art. For children who lean toward
being introverted and morose, teaching them how to enjoy fun can save their
lives. The happiest people I know are fun to be around. Seriousness is highly
When I was a full time missionary, I was asked to serve in various leadership
positions. Whenever I had to present training to fellow elders and sisters, my
mantra was "If you're serving a mission and you're not having fun,
you're not doing it right".There is fun to be had in the
daily service and daily routine we preform. It is crucial to life that we find
humor in every situation, don't get worked up over the little things, and
choose to be happy.Fun is an important aspect of life. Even
neccesary to survival. Lack of understanding and poor parenting demonstrated in
I applaud the author and her article. It was balanced and perceptive and it is
evident from the family photos that this is a joyful family. "Fun"
implies shallow, fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying experiences. Joy and
happiness and recreation are not in that category. I cringe whenever people ask
( after serving very unfun but life changing missions) " Was your mission
fun?????" This good Mom did the right thing in perceiving the direction her
children were headed and thinking it through. I admire her determination to
make life much more meaningful for her children than just one fun thing after
another ( even if the "fun" is balanced with chores, the reward for
which is more " fun". )
I never had the problem with my kids complaining they were bored because that
quickly was followed by an assigned chore. By the same token, they were always
encouraged to get their assigned chores done quickly so we were able to go enjoy
something fun.I agree it's all about balance.
It's not just your family; many things are billed as fun, and as soon as
the fun stops, the whining begins. It was very liberating to tell my children,
and those under my stewardship (i.e. Scouts) that I am not your cruise
director, I am not your fun planner. YOU plan something and we'll go from
there. Not everything is meant to be "fun" (Really, how much
"fun" is earning your citizenship patch in Webelos? It's a lot of
boring, yet necessary, discussion), some need to be done to be done.
I have had the same concern with my children when they have come home from one
of the aforementioned 'fun' activities, and three minutes later, they
are complaining, 'I'm so boooooored, this is the worst day
ever!!!!!.' It's as if they are saying, 'Mom, I was not
entertained EVERY SINGLE SECOND! How dare you let this happen!'Of
course, on the flip side, my kids do know how to work hard as well. I
think that we also need to remember that we need to teach our kids by example.
Do we as parents spend all of our time that our children see us in front of the
TV? On the computer/smartphone/kindle or other electronic device? I know that I
do most of my work while my kids are at school, so they do not see it, and by
the time they get home, I'm tired. I want to rest and unwind. Maybe I need
to save some of that work for when they are home and can see me (or even better,
do some WITH THEM), so that they can learn from my example as well.
I think I understand what the author's underlying premise of this article
is but she leaves out a critical word from my experience in raising three
sons...."balance". I still subscribe to the old saying "all work and
no play makes Jack a dull boy". Life is amazing...you need to have fun along
To first comment maker, laziness, sin, worshiping fun, and wasting time cause
guilt, not people. People care enough to warn.
Having fun isn't all that matters but it's not something to make a
child feel guilty about.