Should everything be ‘fun’?   Leave a comment

While sitting in class for massage therapy, we were asked by the director of the program to give feedback regarding the class.  He was looking for suggestions on ways to improve the program and then he asked….. “Is it fun?”  I couldn’t believe he was asking a class of adults if their class was fun.  Fun is riding a roller coaster, water skiing, going to a movie, those things are fun.  I would describe the class as enjoyable, interesting and informative, but not fun… and I don’t expect it to be.

Webster’s dictionary defines fun as, that which is amusing, or mirthful; entertaining; recreation or play.  People today want constant entertainment.  If something is not ‘fun’ it’s not worth doing.  When I taught senior high Sunday school some years ago, I asked the kids what they envisioned the class to be.  It was no surprise that the first thing out of their mouths was, “It should be fun.”  Children have come to believe all their experiences should be fun partly because of the question I hear parents everywhere ask their children.  Whether they are picking up their children from school, church, sports practice, music lessons, the question is always the same – “Did you have fun?”    

 By asking that question it plants the idea in their minds that all their experiences should be fun.  In reality, all experiences aren’t fun, nor should they be.  For example, I enjoy going to church – do I have fun?  Not usually, unless we are doing something like a church picnic or a game night, it is generally not fun.  But just because it’s not fun, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.  Some experiences in life are fun, but others are meant to be informative, reflective, educational and productive – these experiences can be enjoyed for what they are meant to be, instead of turning into something that must always be amusing.

Instead of teaching our children that everything they experience should be full of fun and entertainment, I think we need to teach them to find joy in life and savor all the experiences life has to offer – not just the ‘fun’ ones.

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Posted January 21, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in childhood

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