Monthly Archives: March 2012

Letting our children be children


“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful… full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good  fairly who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.” Rachel Carson- From “The Sense of Wonder”

Since the last time I wrote life has gone by quickly. We have been in three cities (Greensboro, Denver and Salt Lake City) and I have almost completed teaching two 400 level psychology courses. Life gets busy, we don’t take in the wonder of the day and I often forget to sit back and enjoy the creation around me… which includes processing and sharing my life lessons on here… so I am going to try and be better 🙂

Last night Dave and I were talking about our children and their progress. He made the comment that Holland started off quickly in her learning and absorption of information and she has somewhat plateaued from there. This observation hurt my pride as a mother, I felt like he was attacking my ability to guide and teach our children… I also knew he was right. Holland started off saying her alphabet by the time she was 21 months old and was counting to 20 before she was two. But, she has kind of lost interest in all things academic and wants to play… a lot. She imagines all day long. I put her food in a bowl on the ground because she wants to be a dog, she dreams of being a fire-breathing dragon, she plays in the sand for hours and rolls down hills. She does not want to sit at the table and work on her letters, or even draw…

After Dave’s comment I was not only hurt but I was a little frantic… should I make her work on lesson plans? Should I implement more learning time? Should I make her sit and learn? I try my best to turn every day activities into learning times… but should I force it? Should I take away some of the play, some of the creative mind in order to make Holland into more of an academic (which sounds so ridiculous for a four year old).

The answer is NO… I should not do that. I should not take away Holland’s amazing ability to imagine and create. She can create elaborate worlds and characters from a few rocks and a pile of sand, that is a beautiful thing. She has the rest of her life to sit in a classroom and learn… I need to let her play while she has the chance… give her the encouragement in her natural ability to imagine and create.

Also, if I am telling Holland that she is lovable and worthy just the way God made her, am I not sending mixed messages if I try and fit her into my box of overachieving and trying to force her to read by the time she is 4 and 1/2 or 5.

Right now Holland is a creative, wild, imaginative and passionate four-year-old girl. I want to encourage her in her gifts and that means that I pretend to be a dragon right along with her… I put my bowl on the ground and we eat together… we imagine, we create and we PLAY.