Fredericksburg Parent

March 2019

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6 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • March 2019 PUBLISHER Leigh Anne Van Doren Tabitha & Jamie Nelle's mom EDITOR Chris Jones Quincy, Hayden & Olive's dad MEDIA & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Megan Walsh: Mia, Noelle, and Adelaide's mom DESIGN & PRODUCTION Cheryl Carter, President, Carter Creations Alex, Kate & Jackie's mom WEBMASTER Karen Charney Joshua & Spencer's mom SOCIAL MEDIA Brenda Sapanghila Archer, Maddox & Oliver's mom CALENDAR & COOL THINGS TO DO ELETTER Leigha Pecher: Jake and Luke's mom EDUCATION AND INFANT ELETTERS Debra Caffrey Aidan's mom parent fredericksburg & family Entrepreneur of the Year PROUD FOUNDING MEMBER ADVERTISING PHONE 540-429-3572 EMAIL CALENDAR & SOCIAL MEDIA E-MAIL EDITORIAL PHONE 540-429-3572 E-MAIL SNAIL MAIL P.O. Box 7884, F'burg, VA 22404 The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertisement, editorial or listing that does not meet the publication's stan- dards. No part of this magazine may be reproduced with out permission. Listing and advertising rates are available upon request. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information con- tained herein, however, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Listings and advertisements are sub- ject to typographical errors, ommissions and/or change without notice. For terms and conditions please visit our website at © Copyright 2019 Nurture, Inc. All rights reserved. LIKE FredericksburgParent SIGN UP TWEET PIN fredparent FOLLOW @fredparentmagazine I grew up in the 80s and 90s with the streetlight rule. After school and on the weekends, I would spend hours on end playing outdoors with my friends. We'd ride bikes for miles, toss around the football or baseball, and traverse through the woods pretending to be explorers. As the sky filled with colorful hues of red, orange, and yellow, we'd start keeping an eye on the light in front of my house. Once it began to flicker and then sustain its glow, it was time to end the day. We reluctantly went home, but sometimes not before hearing the sounds of our parents calling our names from our respective decks. That was life without the personal connectivity of cell phones. It was a different world, one filled with fresh air, trees, and free play. I give my kids the same rule. Since our neighborhood is awash with street lights in many neighbors' yards, they too know when the sun starts to break toward the horizon and the lamps shine, they should head home no matter how much fun they're having. We hear a lot about kids being overscheduled and not getting enough outdoor free play and I can almost agree based solely on visual evidence. You may be able to as well. How many times have you driven to work in the morning and saw what looked like hundreds of kids huddled at bus stops, but during the evenings, weekends and even summer months, you see only a handful of children meandering around. For the first year in my old neighborhood, I was convinced that we lived in a retirement community as there were our kids and two others who regularly played. I'm not knocking parents who put their children in activities. My boys play sports and my daughter does ballet. I think structured play does a lot for building aspects of character and discipline, but I am advocating more telling-the-kids- to-go-outdoors play. The natural world alleviates stress, improves mood, and unstructured play with other children help kids with interpersonal relationship skills and conflict resolution. A few months ago, my son and one of his playmates got into a fight. The child's frantic mother messaged me wanting to help the kids resolve the issue. I agreed that it should be resolved, but I was hesitant to get involved and decided against it. Since they both rode bikes and played with the same group of friends, I knew that time apart and eventually pushing pedals together with a little wind in their faces would solve the issue—and it did. A month or so later, they were riding again, play- ing on the playground, and having fun. WRITTEN BY CHRIS JONES letter to readers NEED The natural world alleviates stress [and] improves mood... Kids Nature

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