Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 21. Day 80. Feel the joy

Parenting is weird, and I believe parents are getting weirder. And please don't think I'm all high and mighty and being all judgey about this. When I say parents I am firmly speaking from the inside of the parent tent looking out.
But here's my case. There is an increasing trend to treat children as small adults. We talk to them like adults, we dress them like adults, we feed them like adults and we take them just about everywhere adults go. Whether you are dining in a five star restaurant, having a treatment in an exclusive salon or reclining in a chair in a posh class cinema there's every chance the person sitting in the next chair is a minor. I'm not even talking about someone who is a year or so short of being able to get a driver's licence. I am often taking about an age where they are still a year of two short of the training wheels coming off the bicycle.
But here's the thing. Why on earth would we want them to grow up? Seriously. No-one should be rushed into the adult world. Why don't we just let kids be kids? There is plenty of time to be a grown up later but the childhood years are so fleeting. Have you ever watched a child play in a water park? Have you watched the freedom and joy of splashing under a wall of water. There is a simple pleasure in that which isn't matched in the adult world. Sure kids will enjoy getting their toe nails painted or sitting in a massage chair at the hairdresser but if we let them do everything we do at a very young age there is nothing to graduate to and look forward to - except the stress that being a grown up brings. It's not that there's anything wrong with pint sized pedicures. It's just that the time they spend doing grown up things is time they are not spending just being kids. Spa pedicures might be relaxing but walls of water are unmatched for fun. I reckon we should try joining the kids rather than inviting them to join us.

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