Missing out…

A few months ago I had tried out one of those gym/creative movement/art classes. It was really cool, it involved both girls, and it was fun, but at that time and even now the price didn’t fit into our budget. Well, the lady who runs the gym always comes to the park to promote herself. This is how the convo went down:

(She sees me)

“Oh, HI! I always see you here!” (She means the park)

“Yep, we are here a lot.”

“So, what is the reason you didn’t join our siblings class?”

“Oh, I loved the class. The girls enjoyed it. But it just doesn’t fit into our budget right now.”

“Even with half off the second child? So, what do you do with them?”

“We come to the park, the library for storytimes…”

“Well, we have a blast together! It is so much fun! You’re really missing out.”

———-

It was that last comment that has haunted me ever since then. “You’re really missing out.” !!!! What?! Brett says not to think anything of it because she was probably just using dialogue with me to draw attention to herself and promote her gym. Which may be true or maybe it was a slap in my face, chiding me for not arranging a structured activity for my children. Not only that, but not having the $300 for 9 classes for two children was just unheard of!

I haven’t been able to join Journey and Faith into any classes unless they are free. And even if joined classes we would be able to get their easily because we don’t have a car. So, for the past year Journey and Faith have had many opportunities to enrich their childhoods with just simple play. They are both imaginative, healthy, nurturing and happy!

It is growing increasingly popular for parents to spend a lot of child/parent time arranging and transporting their kids to special activities. It is like an unspoken requirement of good parenting and a necessity for development. Parents are recieving the messages that good parents expose their children to every opportunity to excel by buying enrichment tools and making sure thier children participate in a wide variety of activities. Which is so untrue–and I could use Journey and Faith as proof of that.

I have always believed that it is so important to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day of my undivided attention playing with Journey and Faith. It usually is more than that because I have no distractions while we are at the park 2 hours a day, and while we are home I might be doing some chores, but I include them or at times pause what I’m doing to focus on them. This article I read on Play,  points out that through the interactions that a parent and child have during exploratory free play builds enduring relationships. When parents have that opportunity are able to communicate with their children more effectively and are given another setting for gentle and nurturing guidance.  It has been shown to help children adjust to the school setting and even enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem solving skills.

Yippee! So, I don’t feel so bad now. It is not a big deal if my girls aren’t in “classes.” There are classes that I want them to take like swimming and spanish. But the other hoopla isn’t necessary. I guess I will keep on “missing out!”  My girls are definitely not missing out. They go to a beautiful park with plenty of grass and and three duck ponds. We paint, color, pretend and cook together. We put on cd’s, play music and dance. They are allowed to play whatever they want with the only structure being when they eat and sleep. We are totally child focused.  

There have been times since that conversation that I have gotten down on myself. I wished that we were able to join them in things, etc. But I realized that they have had an enriched childhood so far. They have been allowed to just play. Play is a simple joy. Play allows children to use creativity while developing imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development and helps children to learn how to navigate their world by practicing adult roles. Play keeps children active and healthy. I would never want them to “miss out” on that!

(Source:

http://www.aap.org/pressroom/playFINAL.pdf)

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3 Responses

  1. […] bunk bed and two toy organizers for $60! This gave me the opportunity to reorganize and clean their playroom and bedroom. Lucky me! lol Well, it turned out great. Here are some before shots of their […]

  2. I don’t think they are missing out either! It sounds like they have so much fun and adventures every day with you!

  3. I know the feeling. I stay home with my two girls as well (they are 2 and 4). I felt 100% fine about this until just recently when all our friends went off to preschool and joined just about every class imaginable. It’s actually a little hard to find kids to come over and play during the day because they’re all so busy! Isn’t that crazy? But as a former teacher I can say that there is nothing, nothing, nothing like giving your child the chance to just explore their world. They won’t get this opportunity again.

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