My Marco (7) and Nico (4) weren’t very impressed with Disneyworld a couple of weeks ago. Instead, they can’t stop talking about our trip in May to Pittsburgh and Southern Indiana.
Pittsburgh and Southern Indiana over Disneyworld? Are they crazy?
I don’t think so. Actually, I’m quite pleased with their choice.
You see, in Pittsburgh, they’ll play like mad with their cousins, who they see too rarely. In Southern Indiana, they’ll be part of a group hunting for and collecting geodes in an ancient seabed area. Geodes are a type of rock inside which crystals form. Marco’s extremely fond of collecting them, but he’s never actually been to a place where nature creates them.
So, Marco and Nico prefer real world experiences that are very meaningful to them personally over a synthetic world that’s an icon of contemporary children’s culture.
Other parents might be disappointed with this for two possible reasons:
- Disneyworld is personally meaningful to the parent, and the parent would like the child to share in his or her excitement.
- The parent would like his or her children to join the common culture of millions of children around the world who love all things Disney.
Neither of these is true for me. While I liked Disneyworld when I visited it as a kid, it doesn’t come anywhere near the top ten moments of my childhood. As for my kids joining the common childhood culture, I could care less.
What I care most about is my kids making their own decisions, and, to the extent that I can influence their decisions, I’d like them to choose real world experience over any synthetic or virtual world.
So, my kids are doing well. They’re being true to themselves. They prefer cousins and rocks to thousands of cute robots singing the same song over and over and over again.
Good for them. I’m impressed…