I’m into “free” play
Posted by Beckie | Filed under Beckie
In conversation with another mom at a mutual friend’s house a year or two ago, we were all chatting about our children and extra-curricular activities…
Other mom (spoken in a shocked and scolding tone): “You mean you don’t have ANY extra- curricular activities for your son?
Me: “Well, we tried swimming but he wasn’t really prepared to put his head in the water so we will wait a while before we try again. Plus he just wants to play. He really likes to go to the park and play with his toys. He also loooves to watch Transformers and Scooby Doo on television”
Other mom: “GASP (at this point I’m not sure if it’s ‘cause I mentioned the television)… If you don’t start him in swimming now, he’ll always be afraid and never learn!”
Me: “er…well….ok” (note: not a fan of this type of confrontation)
Needless to say, we just didn’t see eye to eye on the matter.
There is not much anyone can say to me to make me believe that the kids want to have every moment of every day scheduled with school and extra-curricular activities. I’m not adverse to kids being in one or two activities that they like doing, and I understand that it’s good to have interests and hobbies. Plus I believe in trying new things to figure out likes and dislikes.
But even though my kids are small (6 and 2), our lives already seems so complicated with school, jobs and regular “life” activities, let alone adding a ton of extra-curricular activities on top of that. In addition, there is often a high monetary cost of all of these extra activities, and sometimes the costs of added gear (e.g. skates, ballet shoes, required team jerseys and so on), and gas for chauffeuring kids around. I shudder to think about the costs of hockey gear, especially since children grow so fast.
My personal stance about extra- curricular activities is that ONE activity at a time is enough for children while they are young. So the little dude did a session of swimming not long ago (he *did* put his head in the water…a few times) and he just finished his first round of skating lessons.
In the mean time, the little dude has plenty of time for using his imagination. And when he comes to me and says “Mommy, I’m borrrreeed”, I usually say “Gee, if you don’t like your toys anymore we can certainly give them away to someone who wants them” ….Quelle surprise, he promptly resumes his regularly scheduled “free” play.