Let Kids Be Kids

I have a 2 year old.  Well, she’s 2 and a half.  And I usually say she’s 2 and a half going on 4.  I do that mostly because she’s rather tall for her age but she’s also got more sass than a typical 6 year old.  I asked for sassy.  I deserve every sassy inch of her.  But I’d also settle for her staying as young (not younger) than she is for the rest of her youth.

When I was a little girl, I was literally little.  I was always the smallest in my class and treated like the youngest.  My brothers outgrew me by Junior High and they were almost 3 years younger.  And even then, I’d dream of being a grown up.  I wanted a studio apartment, on the beach.  I started buying things for my hope chest by the time I was 13.  What is that?  Why can’t we just appreciate the time when we’re supposed to be dependent.

I want Glory to learn and discover and always want more.  My favorite thing to do is take her somewhere “big” and just follow behind about twenty feet.  Seeing her inhale the world is inspiring to me but at a slow pace.  It seems kids are always jumping to the next phase of their lives.  For instance, Yegs just turned 12 but he might as well be 16.  My favorite 10 yo girl already cares way too much about the way other people see her.

How do we slow them down?  Who can I blame?

Is it the media with all the fashion for young people?  God knows fashion wasn’t nearly as important when I was little.  And it wasn’t intended to make a 10 yo look sexy.  Or is it song lyrics?  – the ones that have our kids start asking questions at age 10 that I didn’t ask until around 13?  Is it television that uses topics and language that were only appropriate after 9pm back in “my day”?

These days, we don’t let kids be kids long enough to figure out who they are.  Society pushes them to hurry up.  So they do their best but it’s usually a guess.  And this “hurry up” thing is also including hitting puberty earlier than every before.  Have you heard this?  I’ve read that it’s the hormones in dairy and red meat.

Wasn’t it Mark Twain that said, “The two most important days of your life are they day you were born and the day you figured out why.”  I’m just hoping that these two moments in our kids lives are really far apart.  I plan on being a mom for a really long time.  Take your time.

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5 comments on “Let Kids Be Kids

  1. Stacey says:

    I agree–we need to let kids be kids for as long as possible. Being an adult is overrated. 😉

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I keep the programs my kids watch (especially Syd) young.
    Syd is the one who has no idea who Hannah Montana is. She knows her name but that’s about it.
    I’m the mom whose kids listen to Sandra Boynton in the car instead of todays popular music 🙂
    I know. I can’t keep their eyes and ears clean from everything…..but I want to try….as long as I can. Just BE kids.
    Thanks for this post. I need to remember to also understand that they are just kids when they act the way that they do and treat them accordingly. That’s HARD !

  3. meridith says:

    This very much resonates with me. I love to see her embracing kid things and not trying to wear mama’s makeup, drive the car, etc like some of her peers do. She’ll get there soon enough. I have to prompt myself to remember this though when she’s banging on the back door in the evening so that she can go outside and run around like a hooligan in the January twilight. As much as I want to sit down and watch TV, she wants to hurdle down a hill in the middle of winter. There’s not much more “kid” than that 🙂

  4. raztaz says:

    awesome post, i think we are to blame in a lot of ways. we say things like, “when you’re older” you can **fill in the blank**. chew gum, ride a bike without training wheels, sleep in a big girl bed, whatever. we (society) seems to be the catalyst for why little people are in a hurry to “be older”. we try not to say those things but rather say things like “when you have all of your teeth, it will be safe for you to chew gum”. but let’s face it, we don’t always and our kids definitely look forward to being older for a # of things. for example, cooper constantly says, “when i older like ryan, i can play soccer.” i don’t even remember saying that but it’s obviously something she assumes. i’m guessing there’s some innate stuff there in how the brain is wired too…

  5. Leslie says:

    I could not agree with you more. I think a lot of it also has to do with school. Even what our kids are expected to know in kindergarten is over the top. Most 5 year olds’ start the year counting to 100, knowing their ABC’s, every color in the rainbow and can read by the 2nd week. I know I’m old…but when I was in Kindergarten, I was so proud when I came home, could write my name, knew my primary colors and could count to 50. Kindergarten was about learning how to be a good friend, waiting my turn, and show and tell time…oh and not to eat paste. 🙂

    I realize that there needs to be a happy middle ground but the pressure on these little kids, (still babies in my mind) is so intense. Can’t we let them love to go to school, show them that being in school can be fun and not put pressure on them to read 12 books before the end of the school year and when they don’t…does this set the stage for their self doubt about how smart they are?

    I realize that it’s a myriad of things that make our children grow up faster…time is flying by for all of us even though there are still 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in a hour, 24 hours in a day…but it just seems like we blink and it’s Christmas again.

    Leslie

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