Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Too Many Plans: Smell the Roses with Your Kids

While I believe that structure is important for children, I think it comes at a cost when every moment of their young lives is planned and scripted. When do children have an opportunity to literally smell the roses (or some non-thorny flower!)?

When I was a young parent, I heard a story of a mother who had an extremely harried life (like most of us.) As she was taking her daughter from one activity to the next, her daughter looked out the car window and noticed the wild flowers that were planted by the side of the road.

“Look at those beautiful flowers!” she exclaimed, her eyes wide and nose pressed against the window.

As her mother was about to tell her daughter that they didn’t have time to get of the car and examine the flowers, she looked in the rearview mirror at the wonder on her daughter’s face. The child was mesmerized.

That day, this mother pulled her car over and she and her daughter got out and played among the wildflowers for a while. She said it was a memory she and her child would never forget.

That story made a huge impact on me. As a parent, I tried to follow her example and allow time for spontaneous moments. I always found the most memorable experiences with my children to be the ones that weren’t planned.

So,among lessons, classes, birthday parties, and all the things you have planned for your child, try to allow for some spontaneous moments. I am sure you won't be sorry.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with You on this. I was a young mother of 2 preschoolers in a store near Christmas . Totally over whelmed with trying to get through there with my 2 sons asking for every thing they saw. I made a comment to them like "if you 2 don't stop, You are going to drive me crazy"
    well out of no where ,this man walking with a cane, with the loneliest face I'd ever saw came up to me. He smiled a sad smile and said" Enjoy these crazy times ,you will miss them when they are gone . Remember the house and dishes will be there too when they are gone." That man changed my life ! My house was messy sometimes but we did more important things . Like covering the whole cement porch in chalk, planting a garden ,taking walks ,making home-made play dough.
    My sons are grown and I now know the meaning of that man's comment more than ever!