Free play for a smarter and happier child

Play is crucial for children’s cognitive, physical and emotional well being. However, most of today’s children play less than past generations. This is caused by our focus on academic activities and rushed lifestyle. If we want our children to be smart, they need to learn at their own pace. Free play is the best way for them to do that. They learn best when it’s an activity that they initiated. We all learn and perform better when we are doing something we want to do.

Children in daycare don’t get to play as they please. They are part of a group and need to follow a schedule and rules. We tend to believe that daycare is a good place for children to learn, but it’s actually a barrier. They spend their time doing structure. Plus children in daycare are pressured to learn fast and keep up with the other children. The truth is all kids will get to an equal level at some point but they don’t grow physically or mentally at the same rate. The pressure doesn’t allow children to flourish as they would if they were free to be themselves and to play as they please.

My son gets to spend almost every day however he wants. He colors when he wants to, he play with his toys when he wants to, he naps when he needs to, he eats when he is hungry. Also, my son loves music. I can see that he is gifted in that area even if he is only 21 months. What’s great about being home with mommy is that he gets to sing, listen to music and play instruments everyday because he loves it. He is expressing himself and releasing emotions through his favorite activities. Every day he initiates an activity related to music. If he was in daycare, he would not have so many opportunities to do what he loves. I don’t care whether he is good at music or not. I care that he is happy. However, by letting him be, he will be good at it because he loves it and he has an opportunity to enjoy his talent. So many children grow up thinking they don’t have a talent or something unique to them. We all do have unique skills. But some get the opportunity to discover it and are encouraged to pursue it. In today’s society, we want kids to behave, read and write. Some parents might not recognize the importance of artistic activities. Therefore, the artistic children will grow up confuse on what they want or what they like because they were pushed to be someone they are not. We want to mold children to what’s “acceptable” to society. But if we look around, the successful people are the ones that don’t follow the crowd.  By successful, I mean happy.

One day my son asked me to go to the basement and play with a drum set toy. I was busy and asked him to wait a little. But he insisted and got upset. So I stopped what I was doing and went down with him. Right away, he started to bang so hard on these drums and sing so loud. He was so into it. I was so glad I listened to his desire to go downstairs and play. He obviously had emotions he needed to deal with and this is how he released them. Play is where children express themselves and deal with their emotions.

If he was in daycare, how would he have handled these emotions? May be through a different kind of play. But what if it was nap time and was expected to sleep? What if it was coloring time and he didn’t feel like coloring? Can you imagine how much emotions would have been held in?

I think we expect too much from children by wanting them to behave, be quiet and follow rules. By doing this, we are expecting them to be in the adult world. We, the adults have a hard time behaving, staying still and following rules. Children should be children. This means, play, be loud, make mistakes, make a mess, and be silly.

We believe by introducing an academic style environment we are making our kids smarter. The truth is nature knows best. Children need to play, love to play and want to play.

So for a smarter happy child, the key is plenty of free play!

If you like what you are reading, follow me on Facebook by clicking the button below or sign up to my blog.

Dear son, I love you

Dear son,

I love being your mommy

I love playing with you every morning before getting off the bed

I love the way you enjoy the meals I made for you

I love giving you many kisses and tell you many “I love you”

I love the hugs and kisses you give me

I love when you play hide with me

I love when you run and I chase you around the house for fun

I love your laugh…. it’s the most beautiful sound

I love when you act silly and try to make me laugh

I love when I cook and you play with the pots and pans around me

I love when we clean and do laundry together

I love being here when you need comforting

I love that kissing your “ouchie” makes you feel better

I love when you wake up smiling from your naps and cuddle with me

I love when you talk to me and try to express yourself

I love that you need me when you feel unsecure

I love that you want to please me

I love that I am the most important person in your life

I love you

and I love being with you everyday…

1157394_10153104580695652_2060523835_n

Dear son, I see you

I take a moment at least once a day to see you. I mean really see you. I stop thinking about everything that needs to be done and I just see you.  These are the moments when I know that choosing to be a SAHM is the best decision I ever made. I don’t want to miss a moment. I don’t want to share a moment. I want to savour you and I never get enough. Dear son, I see you…

397470_10152451859185652_572776950_n

You are spoiling him!

You’re spoiling him! I heard this so many times since my son was born.

I do practice what we call attachment parenting. I don’t think it should have a name since it’s simply following your instinct. However, we deviated so much from what’s natural that we now have a name for it. It’s difficult to practice in our society because we live in an illusion of what makes us happy. We think we can be great moms, have a great career, social life and marital life. We tell mothers not to hold their baby too much or let them get too used to the breasts, to create independence and comfort with strangers by putting them in daycare, to let them cry themselves to sleep at night. We don’t allow mothers be mothers anymore. We have this fear that our children will end up controlling us.

I prefer to parent differently. I am not worried that my child will end up controlling me. Children don’t want to be in charge, they would actually be scared if they felt in charge. So, I might seem permissive or careless to most people. I don’t yell when my son makes a mess, I don’t scream when he screams, I let him explore anything he wants unless it’s unsafe and I hold him whenever he needs me to. The truth is it’s not that easy. Some days are harder than others. I constantly remind myself to look at the world through his eyes. It requires a lot of effort and patience but it’s worth it because he deserves it. My goal isn’t to show him who’s boss but to give him an opportunity to be a child, discover himself and the world.

This post is an introductory to a series of posts related to attachment parenting. I will be discussing topics such as babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and natural birth. I will express a point of view based on my parenting experience. Although I have only been a mother for a short period of time, I am surprised by the kind of mother I am. I believe I had this in me since I was very young. I remember repeatedly telling myself that my goal is to create a warm, secure and happy household for my family. This desire was hidden inside me for so long and now I am letting it all out. So even if my experience is limited, I still have a lot to offer. I listen to my feminine intuition without allowing mainstream media and society tell me who I should be. I want to inspire other women to do the same. When you listen to your inner voice, you will shine and you will succeed.

If you like what you are reading, please share this post using the below buttons.

Socialization Myth

Lately my 18 month old son loves to talk. A few weeks ago, he dragged me to our family bed and started to blah blah with his cute voice. He changed his tone from happy to sad and his facial expressions followed. I wish I knew what he was telling me but I had no clue. However, with my facial expressions I showed him concern and empathy because he seemed to be telling me that something was bothering him. When he was done, I hugged him and he seemed satisfied. He got off the bed and went to play with his favourite truck.

In this scenario, my child experienced how to communicate and learned how to listen. These are two major social skills. Now, let’s imagine he was in daycare and had the urge to talk, would someone be there to listen? Probably not! The teacher is constantly busy attending basic needs and can’t afford to sit down and talk. The children are focused on themselves and don’t have the skills to listen or communicate.

He would have tried and been rejected. He would have learned that his feelings are not important. Plus, would he have been able to play with his favourite toy? Again, probably not! Instead, he would have been fighting with another child to play with it.

I don’t believe in the myth that kids learn to be social in daycare. At this age what they need the most is mommy. It’s fun for them to be around kids but not everyday and not necessary kids of the same age. In fact, they learn more from adults or older kids. Kids in daycare might be less shy around strangers but that’s about it. They don’t necessary learn proper behaviour.

What kids learn in daycare is that they need to fight for their basic needs. They need to fight for toys and attention. They are not special when they are in daycare. They are one of many. They spend so much of their energy fighting for attention instead of doing what’s natural for them. Children need to play freely for a healthy emotional development.

Mommies who think that their kid is better in daycare are not thinking like a child. Kids don’t understand this scary world, so they need to feel safe. No matter how busy you are or if you feel that you can’t provide your child with what they need, it’s still better than daycare. At least they know that mommy is here and don’t have to stress about whether or not she is coming back. The best environment for a child to grow and develop to his/her full potential is at home with mommy. Their biggest fear is to be away from her. Why have them live their deepest fear every day? No money, job, house or lifestyle is worth that.

I feel so blessed that I was present in this moment that my child needed to talk. If he was in daycare, I might have never known about this moment and he would have never tried again since he learned that his feelings are not important to share. But I was present so he learned that his feelings do matter. He learned that someone is there to listen when he needs to talk. Communicating and listening, the most important social skills learned at home with mommy. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s take back motherhood, the most important job of all.

What’s your opinion on this topic?