To me, Slow parenting is about bringing balance into the home. Children need to strive and struggle and stretch themselves, but that does not mean childhood should be a race. Slow parents give their children plenty of time and space to explore the world on their own terms.
It seems as if everything in life is fast these days. I know I am sounding like an “old fogie” but it’s true. We do our grocery shopping online so we don’t have to take the time to go to the store. We have our phones on us at all times so that we can immediately respond to anyone at anytime We drive up to small stores to buy our coffee, going in would take up too much time. We buy our books on Amazon or have them sent to our Kindle. And the list goes on. All of this rushing around all of the time is exhausting.
I believe that it is time to slow down – most importantly when it concerns our children. As Carl Honore tells us today in the quote “but that does not mean they childhood is a race”. You have heard it many, many times- you are only young once. Like me, you have probably brushed that off to an old fashioned idea and gone on with your busy life.
Unfortunately, today it seems as if childhood is a race. We are pushing our preschoolers to do things that are not ready for and in the process taking away the experiences that they really need. We are expecting our Kindergarteners to read when child development experts are telling us that that is way too early. We are taking away recess and gym because someone has decided that they need more math and language. Many, many high schoolers are taking college classes. Why? Why are we all so eager to speed things up for our children?
Children need time to play. They need time to “explore the world on their own terms”. They need us, as parents, to give them the time to learn all on their own. They need us to let them grow at their own pace, not some arbitrary pace that someone, who I bet has never even taken a child development course, has decided what is best for our children.
So…Be a “Slow parent”. Let your children set the pace for their own learning. Tune out what everyone else is saying and listen to your “inner wisdom” when it comes to your children. For the sake of your children slow down- you never know, you might even really enjoy it. 🙂
Have some fun today!