Childrearing

Twinning: I’m Raising My Kids As Laid-Back, Underscheduled Children Of The ’70s And ’80s

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Outside, my twins have Big Wheels, sidewalk chalk, pogo sticks and stilts. And although it frustrates me to no end, the simple “rope-through-a-board” swing that my husband made for them gets more play than the expensive fort/swings/monkey bars playset does.

Music was a huge part of my childhood and my husband’s as well.

My kids have never heard of Justin Bieber—their favorite bands are The Rolling Stones and They Might Be Giants. They love “AM Gold” CDs which feature 70’s greats like the BeeGees, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Jackson Five, singing songs that are impossible not to dance to. The scope of my children’s music knowledge is pretty fantastic.They can recognize almost any Beatles song, and they can sing along with kid-friendly Bon Jovi, Journey and Guns N’ Roses too. I like a lot of current music that’s out there, but I have to censor so much of it. It’s easier just to pop an AM Gold in the car stereo and not worry about it.

One of the best things about growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was the laid-back pace. The “overscheduled child” problem we see today just didn’t exist. My mother wasn’t constantly driving us from one class to the next—the most we did outside of school was baseball, softball and one musical instrument each. Summer vacations stretched out before us with only a week or two dedicated to a trip or vacation.

When my twins turned three and all my friends were putting their 3-year-olds in summer camps, they were near-horrified to hear that I wasn’t doing the same. “What will you do all day? You’ll go crazy!” they warned. But when I was little, I never went to camp and I loved every minute of summer. Most days were spent just riding bikes, swimming and playing sports, or reading on a blanket in the sun. And that’s what my kids do now—we spend the summer together, hanging out and having an underscheduled blast. They love being home, and I love having them home.

My kids have the best of what I had in the 70’s and 80’s, with the best of what I can give them today. While I feel like I’m doing a good job as a parent, it also doesn’t hurt that I get to be a kid again, and relive all the fun of my childhood through them—this time without the plaid pantsuits.

(photo: theatlantic.com)

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