Why my idea of PLAY might be different to yours

Darling Rascals

As my children get older, I’m realising one thing. As parents, our views of what is “play” can be very, very different.

We all start out with a blank canvas but maybe our own experiences as children, effect the way we chose to raise our own.

From the get-go I decided I would be less of a helicopter parent and more of a “watching from a distance but not ignoring my child” kind of parent.

I’ve never sat by and watched my children push or bite and turned a blind eye. But I’m also realistic. Kids do push and bite. Kids are kids. They’re going to get hurt. It doesn’t make them bullies or mean children.

But not everyone feels like that.

I am raising three boys. Three energiser bunnies who bounce off walls, who leap out of bed in the morning, who go and go and go, but who also are respectful and kind (for the most part) and caring.

My three energiser bunnies

My three energiser bunnies

I get that they’re going to get hurt. That they, may hurt others, not intentionally, but in the rough and tumble of play that happens each and every day.

But not everyone feels like that.

Natural Saffie

Some people think that their child should never get hurt. That if they have been hurt, it must have been intentional.

I know this might upset some for me to say this but I think that’s naive.

This is how I feel…

Wrapping our kids in cotton wool is not going to help them long term. It’s not going to teach them how to be resilient, how to adapt, how to bounce back and not take things to heart.

What we can do is teach our kids who will one day be adults (I know, freaky right??) that if you get knocked down, pick yourself up and brush yourself off. You’ll be ok. In fact, you might find you’re braver and stronger than you realised.

Not everything needs a “conflict resolution”. Not every push has a reason behind it.

Of course the ones that do, need to be dealt with and I am by no means condoning bullying.

But I am saying that for the innocent “knock downs” or bumps or tumbles, let’s let kids be kids and work it out.

You never know, we might even learn a thing or two in the process!

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