Article by Wendy McCance
Ever since I got divorced, I have been hypersensitive to what the kids lives are like growing up. Your only a child once and I want to do all I can to insure that their childhood is happy and full of great memories.
Once you are an adult, there are so many responsibilities that crowd your life. Being a kid should be about play. Of course the future is important. Getting good grades, participating in activities and really preparing for your future is part of the responsibilities of growing up. As far as I am concerned though, there is no other time in your life that you can have moments of complete freedom where the heavy responsibilities of living your life don’t weigh you down from having some mindless fun.
I have always felt guilt over not being able to give the kids the fairytale childhood. The one where the mom and dad stay happily married, live in a nice house in a nice town and money is easily come by.
Of course my childhood vision of having a family didn’t turn out the way I had thought it would. Life can throw you some rough curve balls. You just have to stick it out and make the best out of your situation.
I lucked out in that I have a nice home now in a nice town. My new husband treats the kids and I wonderfully and although money isn’t easily come by, it has been steadily improving as the economy has begun to bounce back.
This weekend, I took a moment to reflect on where we had been and where we are now. I thought about what the kids were doing this weekend and it made my heart happy realizing that they are doing what kids should do.
On Friday the kids came home from school and did their homework. Later in the evening there was a dance that the younger kids went to and a sleepover with a friend. On Saturday, the girls went ice skating and their brother played football with the neighborhood kids. All of the kids will get to visit with some family later tonight. They will have dinner and a sleepover and get a chance to have some bonding time with their relatives. Sunday, the homework will be finished and the bedrooms will be straightened. The girls are thinking about going ice skating again. I have plans to cook a big pot of chili with one of the kids.
This is the childhood that I wish on every kid. Time with friends and family, fun activities and a chance to just do what kids do best, play!
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I couldn’t agree more! I truly want my kids to be kids for as long as possible. So far, so good. But it’s hard to know when to introduce more responsibilities that take away from their play time. I’m still searching for a balance. Great post! And thanks for linking to my post above!
Your so welcome. Thanks for your comment.
You’ve inspired me to think about what I’m giving my kids daily rather than just the whole picture. I tend to look at the life skils and happily check them off my list or add them to the “Work In Progress” list. But the daily stuff like play and friends and love are so important too. Thanks for the reminder.
Being an teacher I can tell you that play is a very important part of a child’s development. If we don’t let our children be children and learn to really play, then we shortcut their future in a way we can’t imagine. So with that said, I agree, let kids be kids and play there hearts out.
Great article Wendy and thought-provoking. One thought that comes to my mind is that with planning and a good mindset you can also look forward to being something of a kid once again at retirement. Life is all in the way we choose to experience it. -Jack
Thanks Jack, I love that thought!!
All you can do is your best for them. Sure I would have loved to have given my child everything, yet I look at children who have everything today and they still aren’t happy with what they have. It isn’t the things I look back on, they were few and far between, it’s the rare times when my parents weren’t destroying each other and they had a little time for us. We never had vacations, we were lucky to have food on the table and coal for the fire. (I come from England) Yet a day trip to the Lakes District shines in my memories and a bus trip to the beach at Blackpool, where I rode a donkey. Moving to Australia made life a little better but did little for my parents, here I became an adventurous boy who lived his little life to the fullest. That was the best part about being a kid. I have all the things now at 61, although I would love to have the health and vitality I had as a child.
I don’t think you have to do everything with your children: as long as you are there when they need you to listen or maybe play for a while, they know that you love them and they can trust you.
Thanks for your comment. It’s a great way to look at the topic.