Since I became a parent, I started to pay a lot of attention to how people treat kids. I don’t like what I see. The general trend is to suffocate the energy of kids under the disguise of protection. Or sometimes it is just being lazy. Click bite excerpt, let’s see what I mean.
Yesterday, it 🌧🌧🌧 heavily in Sofia. I picked up my 👶 from kindergarten and he was fascinated by the puddles, desiring to go through all of them. I allowed him to. We were on our way home and would change clothes. Needless to say, I met a lot of frowns and few smiles. Going in a puddle has become a bad thing. Why? Because you get wet and dirty. So what? It is fun, at least for kids. All the kids. Name one that does not like that. I will buy you a 🍺.
We went home, changed clothes and went out again with the heavy armor rain clothing. He wrecked all puddles. Again, many frowns and few smiles. No other kids. On a rainy 20+ degrees day.
But go to a MacDonald’s or another shitty place that sells poison to kids and it is packed. Puddle protection 👍, poison protection 👎.
This is colorful example but there is a lot more unfortunately.
Talking to strangers is bad. Why? Dangerous? Very rarely. 99% of what we want from this world comes from strangers. Why protect our kids from strangers, then?
Kids start arguing and parents hop in to solve the case. Why? Official narrative - they help. Unofficial - they don’t want to be embarrassed by their kids. Having arguments is one of the best things for kids. They learn how to interact this way and it is natural. Hop in to help if things go serious, but not immediately.
Hunger. Parents are super terrified by their kids feeling hunger. My take - it is natural and healthy to feel hunger most of the time. Let kids feel it and know it. They appreciate food better. Let them want food instead of you wanting them to want food.
Natural consequences. We grossly fail to teach kids natural consequences of actions. For example, drop a glass breaks and it breaks. How we solve it - make the glass plastic so the kid can drop it multiple times. No worries. How it should be solved - let the kid break a few glasses and teach him/her that glass breaks if dropped and that is not good/dangerous. Same for 🧊/🔥, wet/dry etc. Let them understand what it means to be wet, cold, hot. Is that pleasant, how to avoid. I can see all the Montessori fans cheering here. Yeah, I am influenced.
Interests. We all know about the mile long schedules of young children. Math classes, piano lessons, second language. Official version - we protect them from failing in the modern world. Unofficial - we protect ourselves to be embarrassed by our future children that don’t fit. We miss the opportunity to see their real interests and aspirations. For what? To solve the theorem that they will never encounter in life. Stupid. If a kid is interested in something, it is our job to see it and push for it. Of course, kids need some direction and boundaries. All I am saying is, don’t let genuine talent be wasted for the piano or the new trendy thing among your peers.
TL;DR Let kids be kids