Let them play
Growing a child in a tube is not the latest biological engineering technology but rather something we have been doing for the past years.
Our cities and homes have become sterile environments, safe, without any danger so we can keep our kids safe but instead, we made them weaker. By keeping them away from the danger we denied their evolution. Look how many allergies have people these days, not used to different substances or how easily our moods change due to weather.
We spend most of our days inside boxes: office, apartment, car. We don’t interact with each other, nonetheless with nature. Our bodies, as well as our emotions, have grown numb. That is why we seek and enjoy extreme sports or bizarre TV shows, we desire excitement and intense feelings to compensate our general anaesthesia.
I was lucky to be born in Romania, a land where rules are optional. I was exposed to chaos since I was little: gangs, drug dealers, streetfights, car races, alcohol,sex, ‘ve been there, done that. I was also blessed to have a good set of values from my family that was strengthened by these experienced and also gods favoured me and gave me amazing friends and opportunities to meet inspiring people from whom I learned a lot. I like to think of myself as a work in progress but I know I have a deep personality (I don’t want to be cocky or something) and I think those experiences helped. From time to time I meet other people my age from around Europe and most of the time they give me an artificial sensation, again not in a bad way, but odd. I wondered why, and maybe because they lacked scars.
I don’t wish anybody to have the type of scars I have because the process through which I acquired them was painful and not everyone manages to get out of it as good as I did because it takes time and effort to heal. But I drew confidence out of what once was a weakness. Also, I am proud of all the marks on my body, most of them are visible on my legs due to the martial arts training, and the other activities I did like rollerskating or parkour. I cut my legs in ropes and fall off fences or walls. Every time I learned something about my body and developed my thinking.
Lately, it has been raining daily and everything is muddy so every time I go out with Yuri I came back with him home half stained. We go every time in a park nearby, and he just loves running and chasing stones, he loves playing and I think you should let a child be a child, that is my parenting model (applied on my dog). Sure, is annoying I have to wash him every time, and when he slides I have mini heart attacks, who would not have when your dog lands on his head.
On the other side, I see parents that won’t let their children play, it’s too dirty, it’s too dangerous, you are making too much noise…
For real. That hurts my brain and my soul.
Through play, children learn, so do adults.
Let your children play,not only they acquire new abilities and discover how social interactions work but also, they find out how life works, because after all, we all play mini-games: work, family, school etc each one with its special set of rules and definition of success (which is also highly subjective).
Let your children play so they will develop their relationship with their bodies, to know their strengths and boundaries.
Let your children play so they grow up willpower, everytime they fail, they learn to build up confidence once again. Sure I had a hole in my shin, and the pain was excruciating but I learned how to walk a horizontal pole in perfect equilibrium, and that is something…
Let your children play so they may develop their elastic thinking, their creativity, imagination, spark, surviving ability…
I see parents that make their children afraid of the world in order to protect them from dangers, to keep them safe that they only make them weak and fragile, not prepared for what is to come. There was a time a 4 years girl came to play with Yuri in the park. She asked me if she could pet him and I said yes but only on the head so he would not be scared. He really liked her and licked her hand and the kid smiled and then… a wild mom appears screaming at her to get away from the dog because is dangerous. That is why some adults have inexplicable phobias, their parents insert them when they were young. Sure, as I said the world is dangerous, but courage is not the absence of fear but the power to get over it.
Stop protecting your children and let them play