Little Adults, Bigg Kids: What We're All Missing Out On

playground We recently read a great post by Dr. Robyn Silvermen about treating kids like little adults. She offers a lot of great links to research and other articles about this increasing trend.

 

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The calendars of kids today are as busy as ours. Between school and all their extracurricular activities, they’re too busy to really play.

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georgeI saw an interview with a little girl awhile back. She was brilliant, doing well in school and excelling at everything she did. Her one wish was that she could just have some time to play.

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Isn’t that sad?

Play pays

Don’t get us wrong – extracurricular activities are great, but it’s good to also have time to engage in activities that don’t have a goal with performance stress attached.

It’s good for kids to just play. It’s good for them physically, socially, and mentally. Play helps them develop their imagination and creativity as well as socially – all important skills in the years ahead.

Turning back the clock

Dr. Robyn cites a growing trend of kids having fitness club memberships. How many of us just love going to the gym? Do you remember playing … just good old fashioned play?  It was fun. Something you couldn’t wait to do. You got some great exercise, but you didn’t watch the clock like you do when you’re working out at the club. 

Speaking of clocks, the sad part is that we seem to be turning back the clock. Dr. Robyn’s article includes a quote that says kids are about two years behind in their development compared to sixty years ago. It seems we’re not evolving; we’re going backwards.

We need to do a 180

So let’s let the kids be kids. In fact, let’s take it a step further. Let’s do a 180 degree turn – instead of trying to turn kids into little adults, let’s become bigg kids.

Not in an immature way … just for fun and all the benefits that come with it.

We need to be more child-like. Do you remember being fascinated by bugs? Of course, we’re not talking about bugs inside the house. But isn’t it fascinating to just watch a praying mantis? How relaxing is it to see butterflies fluttering around?

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marylynnThat’s one of the reasons I love going for walks. I just love seeing all the cool plants. There’s a lake close to our house so I can watch the fish. It sure beats going to the fitness center and watching TV!

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We get so busy working that we don’t have a second to spare. Sometimes we even block people out so we can get all of our work done. That’s when play time is especially important. Play time is social time. You can relax and talk with people.

And you learn … things that you might not learn any other way. Because other people have different interests. By playing – socializing – you expand our interests. That helps you look at old problems in new ways. You find solutions that you may not find if you don’t get out of your routine.

Play expands our imaginations. Our imagination leads us to be more creative, more innovative. Which is how we find those bigg ideas that lead to bigg success!

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Next time, we’ll take on Washington and Wall Street. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by mommyof9)

5 replies
  1. Shaping Youth
    Shaping Youth says:

    Dr. Robyn is one of our Shaping Youth correspondents (where we deal with media and marketing’s impact on kids) –We both are passionistas on this issue, and I’ve devoted an entire category on our site to ‘growing up too soon’ http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?cat=15

    You might enjoy this post on unstructured play as well, where we focus on Susan Linn’s work (The case for make believe) http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=1619

    Great job, I’ll cross post this interview asap!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Previous Powerful Parenting blog post article; Grow up!  How were Treating Our Children Like Little Adults, was featured today on the internet radio show Bigg Success.  Click here to listen. […]

  2. […] Note: This article featured on radio show, Bigg Success 10/10/08 here […]

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