How we spent our Summer Solstace
I took Ella to the park next to the big river yesterday. There was a nice cool breeze so despite the temperature in the 80s and almost 100 % humidity it was mostly nice. We looked at the ducks and ran and slid and swung and listened to several other parents yell at their children about how they should play. Now, I believe it’s really just your families business if you yell or have time outs, I really don’t care if you require your children to say “Yes, Ma’am”, “please” and “thank you” or weather you let them say “Gimmie that!” they are your kids – mess ‘em up how ever you like (within reason of course). I'm sure, personally am raising a precocious, domineering little person who hates to get her hands dirty. So to each their own, but I have a pet peeve about parents who want to control every muscle their kid flexes. Not only is it not very healthy for the kids imagination to be told how to play but it drives me insane to have someone you are chatting with stop mid sentence to yell “That’s not how you play with that!”, “Stop running!”, “Don’t swing so high!” and “You’re going to wear yourself out!” Yes, I heard all of these phrases yelled at the park yesterday and not all by the same people.
I’m not sure when society changed from ushering kids out into the neighborhood streets to play Tag and Kick-the-can and invent games involving worms and waffle ball bats to the current over-controlled Gymboree outing and I’m not saying either is terrible I’m just saying give your kid some space – you’re driving them and the rational parents around you mad when you say “Don’t sit like that, straighten up. Play with your cars now, but not like that honey they drive on the table and say ‘vroom’, look like this…no, no like this.” Can you say overbearing? How about early heart attack? Your kids are not our possesions, they are only given to us on loan from God*, please treat them as such.
*This is Rabbi Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's idea, and I like it.