Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let the guilt go!

"Their physical brain develops through play"

Forever my friends and I have been worried, that as young moms, we didn't know enough or do enough extra activities with our kids in their first years. Many of us didn't have the budget to sign-up for art classes when our baby was 18mo. or buy the expensive electronic learning system toys for Christmas. We all just tried to make ourselves feel like what we were doing was going to be good enough.

Recently, I been feeling guilty because I didn't put my second son, who just turned 3, into preschool this year. My first son went to preschool when he was two, mostly because he needed to the social interaction. So, he ended up going for three years and now, in Kindergarten, it's not like he is any smarter then the kids who only went for one year. Well, I saw this Today Show segment and it made me feel like, OK, my child will grow-up to be just (if not more) innovative then the child who had violin/art/chorus lessons and a personal computer when he was two. Let the children play!


Kirsten said...

I needed this. Thank you Amber.

amber said...

Kirsten- Anyone who keeps up with your blog knows that you do a great jop of letting your kids learn and explore. You're an example to me:0)

Jamie said...

I totally agree! With my first born I burnt myself out with kindermusic, MyGym, dance, gymnastics and she can't play in the playroom alone!! She's so needy and want's me to entertain her.

My second I was just burnt out of those classes so she doesn't do as much as my first did. I limit her to only one class and she is much more creative and has a wonderful imagination! However she doesn't share as well and is not as big of a leader as my first born.

I am not saying it's strictly classes and activities that mold their personality but I think my second is adorable playing with dolls like I did as a kid - and my first looks at her like she's strange because she's pretending to talk like a doll.

Robyn said...

I completely agree with this. I'm so shocked these days that 5 year-olds spend all day in kindergarten and then come home with homework. What the heck! I'm disgusted at the way schools are pushing kids to be so academic at such a young age, when there just aren't any proven benefits. I learned to read before I went to kindergarten (not because I was pushed or anything, it was just what my mom did with me) and I was/am not any better off than the kids who didn't learn to read until second grade. I'm not even sending my kids to kindergarten unless I can find a half-day one. They can start attending school in first grade as far as I'm concerned. I guess I view school as a social learning experience, not an academic one. I've always considered it my responsibility as a mother to be my kids' teacher.

And I can honestly say that outside of Mr. Chan's English class, high school was the biggest waste of my time. It was an academic joke and only benefited me socially, which is fine, I guess. I have strong opinions on this whole subject, but I'll stop here before I rant out a novel.

Grammy A said...

You know Amber... all you have to do is look at yourself (and all the other moms) to know that not going to pre-school is just fine. You all turned out great and I don't know about other families, but we didn't have the money for pre-school, music lessons, or the myriad of other things they're offering for toddlers and kids.

Remember the talk by Elder Oaks? He talked about how we are over-scheduling our kids, and they don't have enough "free play" time anymore. I TOTALLY agree! What's wrong with just hanging out at home and playing make-believe or playing with toys? Playing with blocks, dolls, playdough, coloring, dress up, cars... all the old-fashioned stuff.

I feel the same way about television. Do kids still watch Sesame Street, the Flintstones, or Tom and Jerry? I think a lot of the new stuff on tv (it may be more the older kid's show) are so trendy and cool, and a lot of the characters in them have such attitude!

I just wish we could go back to a simpler way of life, sometimes.... when there wasn't so much "stuff" to do. Do I sound old?