Kids are told to not run, not jump, and not get dirty all the time. But what do kids want to do? Let kids be kids and do what they do best.
I’ve been listening to Peter Pan with the kids on Audible (our sponsor).
There’s so much going on with Peter Pan and I had so many ideas to share with you. So many Peter Pan activities and crafts I wanted to share. Shadow activities and treasure hunts to go on.
But when we started listening to it, I couldn’t help but listen to the underlying premise of Peter Pan.
Peter Pan wants to never grow up. He just wants to be a kid.
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I keep feeling like we’re pushing our kids to grow up way too fast.
Kids are told to not run, not jump, and not get dirty. Kids are participating in organized sports from kindergarten on up. Kids are taking music lessons in first grade. Kids are expected to sit politely during a holiday dinner when all they want to do is play with the other kids. Kids are expected to stay clean. Kids have a list of chores they have to do.
And while one or two of these things here and there don’t take away a childhood, all of them together all the time leaves little time for kids to just be kids.
Where did their childhood go?
I’m not a rule maker. I believe we should just let kids be kids. Our rules consist of making sure no one gets hurt, physically or emotionally (at least to try not to intentionally hurt someone).
I strongly believe that kids need to be allowed to have fun and embrace their childhood. It goes by way too fast. They have 60-80 years of adulthood but only 18 of childhood. It’s just not fair to expect them to be adults when they’re so little.
Rules to break that let kids be kids.
Against my non-rule making, I’ve made “non-rules” to let kids be kids and to never grow up (as Peter Pan would want, right?).
There are typically rules against my non-rules in many households. If you have one of the rules that goes against these non-rules, think about how fast the kids are growing up and when will they get a chance to be a kid again?
What child doesn’t want to jump in puddles? Play in the mud? This is a magical part of childhood that kids will remember. Everything is washable. And stains are memories.
“I always tell them, Everything is washable including you!” – Tawnia in The Huddle
Run, a lot.
Seriously, I don’t know how ‘no running in the house’ is ever enforced. Kids rarely walk. Their walk is a trot. And if they’re at all excited, it turns into a run. Can you imagine being so excited about something that you have to run to get there? And then be told to slow down and walk? How would that make you feel? Let them run!
Not to mention, kids have a lot of energy that they need to spend in some way or another.
Find lots of fun, gross motor activities that help spend that energy.
Kids are loud by nature. Their motors for their cars are loud. Their giggles and laughs are loud. And, their talking is just loud in general. There’s a time and place for kids to be quiet (the library, a restaurant, etc) but to expect that of them on a regular basis is squashing them, their imagination, and their childhood.
Heaven forbid, right? Just think about it, is your child’s job to be the housekeeper? Or is your child’s job to be a child? And what is our job? I couldn’t come up with the right words for this and love both reasons outlined in Hillary’s post, “Why My Kids Don’t Have Chores” on The Cole Mines. Read it.
Jump, Climb & Fly!
Jump on, jump off, and jump around! Climb on, climb up and climb around. I’m a huge fan of any gross motor activities. And by moving lots and lots, it actually helps them sit still. Seriously!
“Our son is allowed to jump on his bed to help regulate his sensory needs.” – Leah in The Huddle
I expect kids to rough house and wrestle and ‘play’ fight. As long as no one is hurt and everyone is having fun, it can go on. Once someone is not happy, everyone needs to respect that and stop. By allowing it, they’re learning their limits, along with others’.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Never Grow Up.
Never growing up like Peter Pan may be a little extreme and impossible, but making the most of childhood while they’re still kids is possible and lots of fun (not to mention the memories)!
Audible is an Amazon company and is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. They sell digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Their Audio library consists of 180,000 titles to choose from, including Peter Pan.