Letting Kids Be Kids

by Katie on April 20, 2016

12771585_10153824797656826_3443625610929779849_oMy kids very rarely ask me to play with them.

Probably because most of the time I tell them no.

Sure, I play board games and read books and can occasionally be found coloring alongside them but that is about all they get out of me when it comes to playing.

Sounds harsh, doesn’t?

My mom didn’t play with me and I’m guessing most of your moms didn’t play with you either.  Somewhere along the line things changed and the idea that a parent is suppose to spend every waking hour catering and entertaining their kids came to be. I just can’t get behind that.  I want to raise boys who grow into independent, thoughtful, and creative men and for me that means not hovering around, letting them take some risks and giving them the tools so they can make their own fun.

IMG_2799I want them to play on the playground while I read a book on the bench…not because I don’t care but because falling and scratches and bruises are part of being a kid.  I want them to learn how to ride their bike in the street so they know how to look for cars. I want to let them run around the block…while I nervously wait for them to get back.  I want to listen to their chatter out in the backyard while I make supper. I want to be OK with my kitchen being a mess if that means they made their own trail mix.  I want to step over piles of Legos while I fold laundry. I want to hear all about the chapter book my oldest read before bed.  I want to hang the picture on the fridge that my youngest drew while I talked to a friend on the phone.

My boys know they are loved and are always safe with me. They know that taking them on adventures and special dates is my love language.  They know they will always see me on the sidelines of their soccer games cheering them on. They know that Fridays after school means a trip to the gas station for a special treat. They know that I will always say yes to a trip to the movie theater and butter on the popcorn. They know that I will probably never say no if they ask to sleep on our bedroom floor.

They also know that I’m there if they ever need anything …just as long as it does not involve Legos.

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