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Dear Reader: Get Outside and Play

Publisher’s note for ParentMap’s July 2019 issue

Alayne Sulkin

Published on: June 27, 2019

Mom with kids

As I read through this issue, my heart started racing and I wondered at the cause. Was the rapid beating due to a flashing “Wish I would have done this or that” for my kids over the last two decades of parenting? 

You bet it was! 

Did our family spend enough time exploring the great Northwest outdoors? Did my husband and I sufficiently stimulate the Sulkin kids’ brains in an effort to avoid the “summer slide,” by emphasizing reading programs and transforming simple hikes into botanical science adventures? 

Heck no, we did not! But it was all good enough. 

We managed through the scariest moments and dealt with the biggest questions as best we could, seeking out resources and wisdom along the way. As a Bubbie on the other side of the tumultuous day-to-day parenting pressures, I see how lucky our grandson is to have that which money cannot buy and every kid deserves: adoring (okay, occasionally overly doting) and present parents.    

I LOL when I witness healthy expectations and boundaries already being set for my little 8-month-old grandson Levi, as when he grabs for his dad’s iPhone with a sixth sense. I’ll applaud from the sidelines as his parents impose screen-time rules, while ensuring he has chores before he can talk (back!). Most Bubbies like me who have been on the parenting rollercoaster of joys and challenges that come with every child can write a near-perfect prescription for parenting success in hindsight.

Skills-building, age-appropriate development and strength come to our kids in the most straightforward ways, and one of the surest is through ordinary child’s play. I learned in the feature about the importance of play, which is so essential to a child’s health and well-being that doctors are actually prescribing a “healthy dose of the outdoors” as an antidote to our toxic and stressful environment. Could the Greater Seattle area be more spectacular for getting our best outdoor play game on?

Not so great is the fact that Washington state — and particularly King County — has one of the worst gender wage gaps in the United States. Former ParentMappers Tara Buchan and Dani Carbary to the rescue. This unstoppable duo works at 100% Talent, a Washington initiative aimed at challenging and changing this reality. Their ultimate goal: to guarantee that all are paid for 100 percent of the valued work they do.

If there is one message you should read loud and clear in this month’s issue, it’s this: Get outside with your kids and play!

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