Preserving Childhood

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preserving childhoodWhy are we as parents always in such a rush for our children to grow up? Let’s start preserving childhood!

It seems like we always wish for the next thing to happen. When they crawl, we can’t wait for them to walk. Then, we can’t wait for them to start to talk, be potty trained, and start school. We seem to be forcing our children to be and act older then they may be ready for. But don’t we really want time to slow down? What we should be doing is letting our children have an organic childhood and embrace that sweet innocence as long as we possibly can.

So, what can we as parents do to preserve our children’s childhood? Here are some ideas:

  • Encourage creative play in your children. Play outside, go on adventures as a family, have them color pictures, and use blocks. Play dress up. The less screen time, the better.
  • Dress children age-appropriately. Have you ever noticed that we feel and act how we look? If we dress our children for their age, it will contribute to them acting more like their age.
  • Make sure children get plenty of social time with other children; and teach them the skills of taking turns, sharing, and working out arguments without being mean and hurting others’ feelings. Remember that it is also important for them to have down-time as well. While social time is very important, try not to over-schedule your children’s free time with activities. The down-time is just as important for their social/emotional being as well. 
  • Keep electronics out of children’s bedrooms; for a couple of reasons, first, so you can monitor what they are watching/playing, and second so that they can use their bedrooms as the down-time needed away from screens. 
  • Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. Be sure your children only go to homes where there is a responsible adult in charge and one you can trust and be confident that they are keeping the activities age-appropriate.
  • Talk about everything so that should your child be feeling pressured to do things outside their comfort/age levels, they will feel comfortable discussing it with you.
  • Limit screen time and social media. When you decide to give your children screen time, make sure you have proper parental controls on any electronics your children can use. That way, screen time stays age-appropriate. 
  • Spend time with your child. Be involved in your child’s life. Encourage their interests and let children know you love them just the way they are.

Let’s go into 2021 resolving to preserve our kids’ childhoods as long as possible!

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Melissa was born and raised in Fairfield County. She currently lives in Stamford with her husband and their three children. She works in Fairfield as a children’s mental health therapist, which is a dream job for her and brings more joy and fulfillment than she ever had in the corporate world. She spends most of her free time outside of mom/wife/therapist duties, on her Peloton, browsing the aisles at Target, online shopping, or enjoying nights out with her girlfriends. You can also find her on Instagram @the_storied_mind where she creates posts in the hopes of helping others and breaking the stigma for people to reach out for help in terms of their mental health.

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