Get Off Your Ass and Go Play
Of course, parents should have been telling their kids this all along. Unfortunately, especially in the Summer, many parents are just too damn lazy themselves. When I was a kid, the last thing I wanted to do in the summer was sit in the house and watch TV.
From the time I woke up, until I had to be home, I was out riding my bike, swimming, playing football, anything but sitting in the house. It certainly helped that I was being shown the door by my parents.
Granted, parents today may not feel as safe just sending their kids out the door these days, but that does not mean that they have to keep their kids stuck in front of a TV all day. Parents should take the time to get to know the parents of their kids friends so that they are comfortable sending them there to play.
There is always some kid in the group that has the great yard with pool or basketball court or whatever and a parent that is more than willing to let their house/yard become the hangout for the summer. Get to know them so you will feel safe letting you kid play there.
Take at least an hour a day to spend time with your kids. So you miss that rerun of Law and Order, so what. You probably need the exercise as much as your kids. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, visit the park and feed the ducks. It really doesn't matter, just get out of the house and do something. Work this into your schedule as a daily event.
I know that every night as soon as the sun sets, my daughter will be looking for me. Unless it is raining, we do not miss our nightly walk. My fat ass needs the exercise and I know that every day, no matter how busy either of us is (granted, she is only 4 and never too busy), we get this chance to walk and talk.
Bravo to Nick, now the parents need to follow suit.