Friday, June 4, 2010
Field Day Inspired Thoughts
Baker's best friend didn't attend field day. He got in trouble at school two days in a row for hitting, so his mom said he couldn't go. She is my new parenting hero! Hurray for personal responsibility. I see so many parents who let their child's bad behavior slide or, worse yet, reinforce it. I've seen parents giggle and say, "how cute" when their young child does something wrong, like throwing food. I've seen parents make excuses for their older child's inappropriate behavior. I often wonder what they think they are accomplishing by doing this. Maybe they are saving their child some short-term stress and it is easier for them at the moment, but, long-term, they are setting their kids up to be spoiled, obnoxious adults who think the world owes them something. So, my friend K is my hero. She is teaching her son that there are consequences and some behaviors just aren't acceptable.
Field day made me think about balance. I like to give my kids some freedom. Emery was walking towards the playground and I let him go. I knew where he was headed, I was watching him, and I planned on joining him in a few minutes. I don't need my child next to me every second. Another adult saw him walking, looked around, and glared at me for letting him go on his own. Maybe he didn't realize my intention, and I can understand that. Once I joined Emery and put him on the swing, a little boy asked me if he could swing. I asked where his mom was. He pointed and she was busy supervising one of the field day games. This little boy was on the playground for a good half hour without anyone watching or checking on him. I've seen that often too at other playgrounds. And so, you have to strike a balance between giving your kids some freedom (and yourself some breathing room) and temporarily "abandoning" your child to the playground. It is difficult. I've gotten distracted talking to a friend and lost track for a second of my child's whereabouts. But, it is infrequent and, overall, I do think I manage that balance of giving them room to explore and be independent without letting them get too far away.
My last thought is this. I was so excited to see the kids, in this day and age of political correctness and litigation, play "tug of war." They had such a good time and although it was called war, the school did a great job of promoting good sportsmanship.