I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with my eighteen-year-old son Benjamin. We visited with my parents for awhile. After that, we visited my brother Steven on the family farm. It is nice to be able to have some one-on-one time away from home with your older children.
There are a lot of places that my wife and I cannot go with our younger children. This is disappointing. People should strive to accommodate children more, whether it is at a public venue or in a private home.
While not all public places can be child-safe, all homes should be. This is true even if children do not live there. It should not be impossible for a friend or relative to bring their active toddler to visit for an afternoon.
A couple of my children have been playing a new computer simulation game entitled Who's Your Daddy. It is a two-player first-person game in which the player controlling the father must keep a baby safe within the confines of a home for a fixed amount of time. Perversely, the player controlling the highly mobile baby attempts everything possible to self-destruct using household items and appliances. The game is darkly humorous but also educational and somewhat realistic. To quote what a neighbor confided about her toddler, "All I do all day is save his life."
In addition to being safe for children, homes should be safe from children. When choosing the height at which to hang a priceless painting, hosts should consider whether it would be improved by a touch of crayon. Likewise, visiting parents should not have to be constantly restraining their children from playing with the fragile bric-a-brac on the coffee table. A visit by children to a home should be a joy, not a stressful game of minimizing damage until time to leave.