I was just looking around at new movies, thinking of what to watch next with the girls. I stumbled upon “The Little Prince“. Click the title and watch the trailer. I was tearing up and I haven’t watched the movie! I remember “Le Petit Prince” from when I was younger. The blurb that comes with the movie says it is about bringing that story back to life through the eyes of a little girl.
What strikes me most from the trailer was the Mother’s plan for her child. She seems to desire the most amazing life as a grown-up for her daughter. One of the lines in the trailer is “You’re going to make a wonderful grown-up”. You see glimpses of how she sets up her childhood to accomplish successful adulthood. This resonates with me, so here I sit, sharing with you. I do not see myself as this type of parent with a pre-designed layout of the lives my children will lead. I do try and enforce certain things like sharing and nice words so they will be nice people though.
I find I am more the opposite of making a wonderful grown-up. I want my children to be wonderful children. The idea being that they will morph into wonderful adults (like me – LOL). When we were younger, we played; inside, outside, sun-up to sun-down, snow, mud, rain, together and alone. There are studies done on the importance of play and what it helps your child develop. Look around at the children you know. They learn sharing, imagination, cooperation, conflict resolution, organization and fun. Imagine taking those skills into life as a grown up.
I do believe in academics. I want my daughters to be readers and understand math. I want them to be intrigued by science and develop their spirituality. I want them to read because it opens worlds to them, real and fictitious. Math, science and religion, even just the exposure and basic understanding will help make them well rounded people.
We have all read it everywhere, “enjoy this moment, it goes by so quickly”. It is true. I don’t wish this stage away and I don’t typically long for stages that have passed by. We fill our lives with the people we are now and the things we love. I want the girls to be able to observe the world and live in it with their eyes open. They need to see all the developments of technology and learn them, but at the same time, learn to appreciate a wax crayon and a cardboard box.
I recently heard someone say that their two year old could navigate their smartphone because “that’s the world we live in”. Smartphones are in our world, but they should not BE our world. Our children need to learn to hold verbal conversations using whole words and eye contact. We need to help them expand play now or they will be “wonderful grown-ups” more attached to devices and technology than we are. We need to teach by example. Play people, just play.
We have TV, we have internet and we have an iPad. Our kids access them all, but they also play. They do not spend hours on end immersed in technologically driven activities. We have crafty, get muddy, dress-uppy, iPad sharing children. One thing we took from shared reading is “EEKK” – elbow to elbow knee to knee, book (iPad) in the middle so we both can see. Sharing, enforce sharing. We take them out to play and we play with them. Another line from the trailer of the movie was that it’s okay to be a grown-up, just don’t forget what it is like to be a child.
I was talking about the weather in the school yard with a parent. He was saying how nice it is without the snow this November. I wholly disagree. We need some of that chilly cold white stuff. Don’t forget that it is FUN. It completes this season. I made my point to him by saying that we, as adults, are jaded because we get caught up in the driving or shoveling. The joy and excitement of winter is lost. I DISLIKE driving in the snow. If you know me, you know this is true. My palms get sweaty at the thought of it. My disdain for winter travel, however, pales in comparison to my love of playing in the snow. Yes I have big snow pants and boots. I make snow angels with my children and I go sledding. The kids were so happy when the snow was here a few weeks ago. I took three kids sledding. We were out there for almost 2 hours.
We should not let our children slip into the adult-like routine of smartphoning and staying inside. We should push them out the door and unplug them. Let their imaginations grow and direct their play. Let them find what they love, develop a passion. Ellie wants to grow up to be a mermaid and although Sophie on some level knows they aren’t real, she wishes for a unicorn. I embrace the childhood years. I don’t wish this stage was over. I have no idea where they will end up as grown-ups. My plan for them is that with the right amount of imagination, academics and a whole lot of love, they will be just who they were meant to be.