One of my primary jobs as a mother is to preserve my girls’ childhoods for as long as possible. In a society where it seems like children are pushed to grow up faster and faster, this can sometimes feel like either a monumental challenge or that you aren’t educating your children. There are programs to teach your baby to read, sports intensive programs for toddlers, and tutoring classes to push your child to the next grade level early. What about now though?Isn’t it more important to foster a creative imagination, a sense of confidence, a close family bond?
I guess the biggest question is this: “Why is childhood something that is not tolerated by society?”
I have written about restaurants and airlines banning children as a general policy, stores banning breastfeeding (again, something that should be a norm in childhood), and schools placing unreasonable standards of behavior on children. All this adds up to a clear picture on the mainstream attitude toward kids. Then we have the mass commercialization and marketing to children that is prevalent nowadays.
This week I took AJ out to get some new flip flops. While she tried on a few pairs I walked to Moira’s section to see what they had in stock. I was stunned and appalled by these- hot pink kitten heels- for a 2 year old! What event calls for your baby to be teetering around in heels?! More so, what parent actually buys them and makes their already clumsy baby try to walk in them? (I am pretty clumsy in heels and I am a dancer!)
I want my girls to embrace and enjoy every minute of their childhood because they only get one. I want them to dress up, get messy, play hard, be loud, run…. just be children! Sure I am going to teach them things, like how to help empty the dishwasher and clean the bunny cage. But I am not going to expect perfection and will guide them the same way you help a baby learn to walk, by example more than anything.
Our society is so fast-paced and tech oriented that we forget that it is way more important that your child feel safe and loved instead of knowing how to use an iPad or can sit at a desk for 6 hours without a fuss.
Preserving my girls’ childhood is something that I am striving to do everyday and I hope others do the same… your children will thank you for it!