Let Children be Children

I’ve heard it before but I’ve finally understand that children need to be children.  I figured this out at a recent Boy Scout campout, as I watched my son play for hours with the other boys without complaints.  Normally this would be no big deal.  My son is one who can’t go 5 minutes without video games or complaining he’s bored.  Yet he had no problem finding something to do at a lake where he had little to no rules.

Less Rules

This all really started me thinking how come my son can play for hours out side at a campout and not at home.  At first I figured my kid is just addicted to video games. Even when I ground him from video games he still doesn’t want to go outside when at home.  So, I guess that throws that idea out.  If it’s not the video games and it’s not him hating being out doors then what was it?

This is when I started to figure it out.  It’s me, or I guess I will be more specific it’s the rules he has when home.  Being that “over protective parent” has caused my son to hold up inside and never really be a kid.  I started thinking about the rules I had when I was a kid,  they where simple try not to break a window, if I was going to be out of ear shot let my mom know and be home before dark.  It was simple.  The problem is my son has lots of rules.  I’ve tried so hard to keep my son safe around my house that I forgot children need to be kids.

Safety

As parents we all want our kids to be safe, but to what cost?  Some times you have to let your kids make their own mistakes, and learn from them.  No one wants their kid get seriously hurt.  However a few small cuts and bruises are a part of growing up.  I had my fair share of road rash as a boy, and survived.  Learned just how fast you can turn a street corner on my bike without sliding.  Also learned a few times that gravel on the road greatly reduced this speed.  This info made learning to ride a motorcycle a lot easier, and safer for me.  As a child I learned lots of lessons the hard way.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those injuries.

I’m still learning the hard way.  Let your kids make mistakes, your children need to be kids.  I’m slowly learning as a parent I’m not here to protect my child as much as I’m here to teach them to protect themselves.  If your kids know not to talk to strangers, and look out for cars why not let them play outside and just “stay within earshot”?

As much as I want to protect my children, from anything that can harm them, I’ve realized sometimes you just got to let children be kids and hope that you have taught them enough that they don’t get seriously hurt.

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