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Letting Our Kids Just 'Be'

September 17, 2006

What if we just let our kids "be" instead of scheduling every moment of their lives?

 

In a type-A world, it's easy to forget that our children are not yet part of the rat race that we as adults find ourselves in.

 

Our kids are rushed, over-scheduled, and generally stressed out just like their parents. But what if we decided to just stop the madness and let them ride bikes and climb trees again? 

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that parents are worried that if they don't have their kids in every activity than they are somehow failing them. Yet, intellectually we, all know that our little soccer players will probably not be Mia Hamms, and our dancers will probably not turn out to be prima ballerinas.

 

Instead, they will be kids who didn't climb enough trees and haven't mastered bike-riding.

 

I thought about this intently as I watched my six-year-old float on a surf board on a lake at sunset last night with her best boy friend.

 

"I like surfing on the lake better than the ocean, Mommy, because it's a lot easier," she said before they pushed off from the shore.

 

The board was long enough, and they were short enough that they could both lie down. They paddled with their little arms gliding smoothtly across the glassy surface of the lake, the setting sun twinkling on their wet, brown bodies.

 

I could hear them singing a song. I couldn't make out the words, and I'm not really sure they knew them, but it sounded like a happy song.

 

And it made me think what it would be like to be six-years-old again with my best friend on a surf board going nowhere. I think that's what being a kid is all about.

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