And lordy it seems that society has lost sight of that in a big way. I tripped across this article today and it really made a lot of sense. I understand that education in the US is sorely lacking but taking away our kid's childhood is not the answer. To prove that, and I quote, diminished time to play freely with other children is producing a generation of socially inept young people and is a factor behind high rates of youth obesity, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder and depression.
Ya think? Yeah I think so too. They mention a variety of reasons for it, all of which I agree with, but mainly being a kid nowadays is just as stressful as being an adult. WTF? Who said we had to make our kids adults at age 3? Where do we get off pulling that one on them? My dd's b-day is at the end of October, in California we could have started her in kinder when she was 4 and have her turn 5 while she was in kinder. Why the hell would we do that? She'll be in school for 13 years straight minimum why start early? Fortunately Texas has a rule, if you're not 5 before September 1 you can't start kinder. Now she'll be one of the first in her class to be old enough to get her drivers license come time. Yeah see now that's what I'm talking about!
Note that in the article they mention that parents try to redeem the loss of play time by enrolling them in organized sports, have ya'll seen how stressful those sports teams are? Not exactly what I'd call 'play', especially with all the pressure that coaches and parents put on the kids. Parents get in brawls out there. I'm glad my kid isn't into most of those sports. The only thing she's ever shown interest in is dance and swimming, not the most competitive of sports. Yay!
We are very into our downtime at home. The kid sometimes says "I want to relax right now" and we never begrudge her that. She has set times where we do her school work and then she's free to do what she wants. Don't bother talking to me about obesity and weight either. I bred with a stick and gave birth to a stick. All the McDonalds in the world wouldn't plump her up. I know, we've tried. She's 7 and still can't finish a Happy Meal. The only thing she totally finishes is the bag of apples that she chooses rather then the french fries. I don't think she was the kid those things were geared towards but I'm ok with that. It could be worse!