I have started reading my Simplicity Parenting book. I am enjoying it so far. I think it will be very helpful and it seems to be articulating some things that have been floating around in my mind for a while now.
So far, the basic premise is about preserving the sanctity and the reverence for childhood. It's about recognizing that childhood is not something to be skipped, or forced through, but it's own sacred and precious stage of life. It should be marvelled at and allowed to progress at it's own natural state. Basically, it is time to let kids be kids.
I sometimes struggle with embarrassment and judgement from others for the fact that Sebastian is seemingly stuck in his childhood. He like cartoons, and basic books. He still likes Dora and Backyardigans and Arthur. He plays simple games and likes basic toys.
And then I think...Holy shit. He's 10. Back off.
What is wrong with him being innocent? What is wrong with him not understanding complex subjects, and adult conversation?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
I think it is time that we let our kids be kids. I think they should be allowed to colour and cut with scissors and glue. I think kids should be allowed to play silly games, and build tents with pillows. They should play dress up, and cars and school.
I also think that we, as parents, should help to protect our kids from some of the adult truths out there. My kids don't need to know about my horrible days at work and my awful boss. They don't need to know when I worry about money. They don't need to know when I am scared, about any number of things.
I am not saying that my kids shouldn't be exposed to the world. I just think that it should be appropriate for their age and what they can handle. I hear stories about kids with anxiety disorders and worries and ulcers. That is so wrong to me. It makes me sad.
I had a conversation with a lovely lady today about her new mission. She wants to help her kids become responsible, conscientious and contributing members of society. She is planning on blogging about the things that she wants to teach them. The things that your mom taught you, or should have taught you. The things you learned the hard way. I think this is brilliant.
I believe that kids should be polite and have good manners. My kids clear their plates after dinner and say thank you and excuse themselves. I don't believe kids should say phrases like "oh my god" or "shut up" or "hate". Obviously, I don't think young kids should swear. I believe kids should not lip off or talk back to their parents. I believe kids should be respectful to their elders, whether they know them or not. I believe kids should share with others. I believe children should not be greedy, whether it is toys, or food, or anything. I believe all children should always say "please" and "thank you" and "you're welcome". I believe that they should not chew with their mouths open. I believe all kids should be exposed to different cultures, different people, different abilities. They shouldn't stare when they see someone who looks differently, or in in a wheelchair.
It is 100% up to me to teach my children this. I want my kids to be pleasant to be around. I want it to be second nature. I want them to grow up to understand that treating others well, is a direct reflection on themselves. I want that reflection to be beautiful.
I am proud to say that my kids are on their way. My kids are kids. They are good kids. Amazing kids.
Yes, I turn the radio station when the music is inappropriate. Yes, I save "my" movies for when they are in bed. Yes, I might be overprotective. Yes, I might not be the "cool" mom.
But when I watch them play, and laugh and be little kids...the real, little kids that they are, and should be, then I don't care what others think. I know what I am doing is the right thing. I don't want them to feel like outsiders or weird, just because they aren't as adult as their peers. But I am also not willing to bend. I think I am building the foundation for good, solid people. I building a foundation for our family. My hope is that it will help them become the adults they are meant to be.
In their own sweet time.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nice, good kids."