Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is IMPORTANT

A few years back I went to a "play workshop" with a guy named Fred Donnaldson.  Fred plays with bears, wolves, gang members, and once upon a time he played with me (and like 30 other people, it was awesome!)  He's amazing, but my post isn't about him. But you can read more about him here.  It's about this article in my newspaper.  READ IT.  Our kids don't play enough anymore.  I mean real play.  Remember that?  When you and your friends just came up with the coolest stuff?  It wasn't win/lose it was about fun and discovery.  Now, kids are over scheduled and pressured constantly to compete and win and be better.  More and more studies show that they are suffering for this.
"The consequences are potentially dire, according to Thompson. He contends that diminished time to play freely with other children is producing a generation of socially inept young people and is a factor behind high rates of youth obesity, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder and depression."

We need to stop obsessing over our kids being the "best of the best of the best".  Let them worry about that when they get older.  Now is the time for them to learn to overcome their fears, to make mistakes, and learn that they have their own mind with their own feelings and opinions.  I think the key for us parents (or maybe just for myself) is overcoming our own fears of inadequacy as parents so we don't feel the need to compete our children against one another.  Perhaps if we all took a little more time to play and love we would spend less time in competition and fear.  Maybe this is part of what Christ meant when he asked us to "become as little children."

3 comments:

  1. I was going to say this in the last post, but forgot about it...

    Have you ever heard of Joy School? The only reason I know about it is because Scott was in the EQ presidency with the founders' son in California. Anyway, Brother and Sister Eyre say that our kids will have PLENTY of time to develop their math and writing skills, but that toddlerhood is the time for our kids to learn about joy. I'm hoping to organize one in our neighborhood; I think it's a fantastic start to homeschooling!

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  2. I have heard of it but never looked much into it. Now I'm going to! Thank you!

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  3. I TOTALLY went to Joy School when I was little! See how well I turned out? :)

    I don't think that all over-scheduling is necessarily about insecurity as parents or wanting children to compete and be better than everyone else. I realize I haven't popped the kid out yet, so take my opinion however you want... But I think a lot of it has to do with people not feeling the world is safe enough for their kids to just wander out and explore like they used to. When I was a kid, we'd disappear for hours and no one would care as long as we were home for dinner. These days, parents have to be more cautious. Also... most of the kids I know with plenty of extra time use it to sit on their butts and play video games.

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