One of the most common problem parents face today is finding the time and energy to spend quality time with their kids. Lynne Richardson could empathize, being a parent who struggled to make time for her children and who felt guilty when she didn’t think she did enough. In the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, Richardson decided to create a project that made a difference for all parents and children. In doing so, however, her own children and their friends got involved and took leadership of her project. Various newspapers in Richardson’s home region of Plymouth, Massachusetts picked up the story. Here is how the project was covered by the Old Colony Memorial.
Kids Just Want to Have Fun
by Casey Meserve
Like most parents, sometimes Lynne Richardson was so tired when she came home from work that she was too tired to even play with her two children.
“I was rushed and caught up in what I had to do,” she said. “I was tired, and that was my excuse for not playing with my children.”
It made her feel guilty, and it made her realize something.
“We spend our time with our children driving them to baseball, soccer, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and dentist appointments, when all kids really need is time with us,” she noticed. “They want us to play with them, and I don’t think parents give themselves a chance to play.”
Her children, Shane, 7, and Ainsley, 4, agreed. Together, they decided to make sure every parent knew what Richardson had learned.
Shane gathered his friends from school and together they planned a day spent with their parents, with games and sports and fun. They call that day ‘Into Our World.’
Richardson originally called it ‘Into Their World,’ but the kids changed it.
Aug. 23 Shane, Ainsley, and their friends will host this day of fun at the Jungleplex on South Meadow Road.
They’ve got it all planned and are eager to tell everyone.
“We’ll have sports and games for little kids,” Ainsley said.
“And entertainment – a DJ, and a professional yo-yo master who will teach us tricks,” Maddie Sandifer, 10, said.
“We have kickball and an obstacle course and dodgeball,” Jessica Paul, 8, said.
“And wiffleball, and the kids are going to beat the parents,” Shane said.
“I don’t know about that,” his mom said. “We’ll also have two moonwalks,” she added.
Once a week for nearly two months these kids have had regular meetings at the Richardsons’ house. Shane keeps minutes and writes the agenda, and everyone talks about what they’ve done in the past week and what’s left to do before the big day.
Nine children from Manomet are responsible for preparing the event.
Shane is in charge of getting sponsorships. He goes with his mom into businesses and talks to the owner himself, although Ainsley showed her big brother up one day by getting a sponsorship from the daycare she attends. Ainsley helps with everything else too.
Jessica and her friend Miranda Murphy, 8, created flyers for the event. George Thurston, 10, is responsible for distributing the flyers and fundraising.
Maddie and her brother Jason, 8, made posters, and argued, and made more posters, then argued some more. Maddie was responsible for getting the owners of the Jungleplex to donate the space.
Jessica’s brother, Nick, volunteered his time to perform a magic show at the event and helped design the group’s Web site (mysite.verizon.net/vze8cqa1/id1.html). Cullen Murphy, 10, is the head Web designer.
In all, the kids hope that for one day at least, their parents stop trying to give them everything, and just give themselves.
To participate in the August 23 event in any way, email Richardson at [email protected]