One stay-at-home dad says children are missing out on spontaneous playtime due to parent-organized playdates.

Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge blogger, called playdates “too structured” and said parents are organizing everything, with kids having no say.


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Read some of his blog post below:

Kids are slowly being desensitized to the spontaneity of play. Before cell phones and social media, we found out where our friends were by the multitude of bikes parked on the front lawn. I spent most of my time as a kid riding my bike to the park and playing pickup games of basketball and baseball. We played Star Wars for hours and acted out scenarios from our heads. We climbed trees!

When there was no one to play with, I didn't pester my mom to contact all her friends to set something up. Sometimes she would just point and other times she just told me to go outside and I threw a ball against the garage, for hours.

[...]

Many of our kids are totally incapable of this activity and they are losing their ability to think outside the box because play is handed to them on a silver platter. My six year old daughter tells me often that she is bored if she is not being constantly entertained and all too often instead of forcing her to figure it out, I defer to the iPad.

Kids are at their best when their imaginations are in play. We are dumbing down their ability to be independent thinkers with scheduled activity and feeling like we are to blame when they have "nothing to do." Isn't it ridiculous that I feel like I am a cruise director in charge of keeping everyone occupied?

When will kids learn to use their imaginations again and not rely on an app to keep them entertained? It's our responsibility as parents to make it stop. Let's start by banishing the word playdate and focus on just making our kids play in imaginative ways. Let's lose the structure and the formality and remove the dates so they can just focus on playing.


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Bernholdt was on “Fox and Friends” to explain his position to Clayton Morris.

“A lot of times, we overdo a lot of things,” he said. “Sometimes we need to pull back and let our kids kind of dictate what things they wanna do. I think we get too caught up in what we want them to do instead of them letting us know what they need.”

Watch his interview above.