Friday, June 12, 2009

Why do so many parents try to structure art and play?

May 19

We've been going to a library story time every Tuesday morning at a nearby town library. It's pretty well done. They read about five stories, sing a few songs and then do some craft project related to the stories. The time goes by quickly and I like that kids can stand up and some even wander the room a bit and no one seems to mind. We had tried to go to the story time in our town, but in one hour they read one story (which was usually a very simple board book) and the rest of the time seemed to be focused on taking turns and following directions. Clearly trying to prepare them for school. Since my kids will not be attending school, and since this was supposed to be about introducing kids to new books, we only attended one session.

Although we like this new story time, even things like craft time irritates me. Usually it is something like gluing things onto a pre-cut shape and sometimes coloring, too. You'd think this would be a great time to just let kids play with the glue sticks and create as they want to, but so many of the parents are so focused on having their child do the craft the "right" way. I often get more than a few stares when they see my kids spreading glue on the table instead of the shapes or gluing the shapes "wrong." Ah well. I have to accept that I'll probably be alone most of the time in thinking kid's art shouldn't be directed. I want my kids to love exploring art for a long time, and I know if I focus on correcting their "mistakes" all that enjoyment will be sucked out of the experience.

Later that evening I started to feel really sick and just laid on the couch and prayed the kids wouldn't do something to damage the house that badly. My MIL came over after a bit while I went to see the doctor, and then my parents came for the evening until the kids went to bed. My mom even gave them a bath, not always an easy task. Before they went to sleep, we all watched some family videos.

May 20

The big thing we did today was go to the train park. It was interesting how Alexa seemed so possessive about the park equipment. They rode on one of the equipment that rocked back and forth, and then they got off and went over by the train. Then when another little girl came to the park and went over to the rocking equipment, Alexa went running from the train and tried to pull the girl off the equipment. I'd never seen her act that way before. It was interesting to say the least. Then she'd follow the girl around trying to go on or do everything the girl would do. She never acts this way around Jared.

Here's another vent. Why do parents always insist that kids not climb up a slide, that it is wrong somehow? That always mystified me. I hear that comment from a mom almost every time I go to a park. How can their be a right way to play? I recently read a blog post about a new park open in Manhattan where the kids have to go to special training before they can play on the equipment. How sad is that? What I wish is that they would make more parks with larger green areas, trees that the kids could climb and more unusual equipment or something like wooden tree houses for the kids to play in instead of the usual equipment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, you left a comment on my blog so I thought I'd come over and visit. I really resonated with this post. Going out in the mainstream world can be depressing sometimes. I well recall when son was 2.5 and in a gym class, all the other parents were threatening the kids with timeout if they didn't sit at circle time, even though the instructor said it was totally age appropriate for some of them to not want to. But I got dirty looks from the other parents when I let him wander around.