Let kids be kids!

by David
Sophia, enjoying herself!

I still remember the time my father used to give me a stick next to the sea and try to catch a fish or a crab. yes I know you might be asking yourself, how can you catch anything with just a stick, but at that time I remember I wanted a stick so I can battle with any sea creature that attacked me. Did my father judge me? Not at all, he used to be my supporter right behind me, trying to put my theory to test. So what am I getting here in today’s post? It’s just let your kids act like kids, these are the memories they will remember.

Recently my family and I went to Valletta, just for a casual stroll, also as Valletta is the safest place for a toddler to walk freely without the risk of a car coming out from nowhere. We arrived at St.Georges Square and we came across the fountains there, my daughter loves water, so she looked at me to get my approval to touch the water and I nodded. She smiled and started touching the water coming out from the fountain, in the meantime I asked my wife what we were planning to eat so it was just merely 2 seconds, I looked back at my daughter and I saw her in the middle of the fountain, all wet with her dress all soaked.

What was my reaction? My instinct was “What the hell, Sophia,” but before splurging my words I said to myself, nothing to do now, let her enjoy and so she did. She spent 35 minutes going from one fountain to another and laughing so loud she grabbed all the attention from the other people passing by. Of course, I had to film this epic moment, but I said to myself, let her enjoy as these are the memories she will cherish.

Let them explore:

As a parent you might think in this situation, no she might catch a cold, get a fever or grow gills and become a fish, irrelevant what we think we are wired to protect our children, but sometimes we just need to let go and let them explore (Obviously always evaluating the repercussions if any). Our children are not puppets and our unconditional love for our child speaks more highly of the kind of parents we are than our child’s achievements. So, if you are at the beach grab a bucket, a spade and just let them do whatever they want with that bucket and spade, you will be amazed what they can come up with 😊

Don’t force your child into anything:

How many times were we panicking that our child did not eat his/her food today? Or why aren’t they eating the delicious dish we prepared for them? It’s only natural if we’re panicked about this, you might also be panicking your child, so the best thing to do is try once, twice max if they don’t want to eat don’t force them. Trust me if they are hungry they will eat it and anything else you bring to their plate, this is how my mum taught us if we didn’t like the food she prepared and started nagging, she used to say, you don’t want it? It’s ok, stay hungry then. She then used to put the food in the fridge and without even forcing us we use to go in the fridge and eat it after haha

Praise them:

I am 29 years old and I never get enough of my parents praising me, it is better than any other reward I can get, why? This is because with any accomplishment I did, my parents were always there to cheer me up and if I fail, they were the first to pick me up and tell me to continue fighting and never back down. You might ask, how can I do this with my children now? Very simple, my daughter is babbling and sometimes she actually says a spontaneous word which fits the context, what we do is smile and tell her well done, I tell her to give me five (Hi5) and for her, that’s an acknowledgement of doing something good and eventually, she continues repeating that word until she gets fed up of my cheesy hi5’s.

So, parents if you see your child doing some spontaneous or even something unusual, there’s nothing wrong by giving them a praise as that is all they need to build their self-confidence.

If they want to take out a toy, just let them:

Let me be clear here, I am not encouraging to spoil them, that if they want to take 8 dolls you let them, but compromise. For example in this situation rather than saying no, tell them that Ms Bunny Fu Fu wants more attention today, so better take her rather than the other dolls and another time take Ms Fifi, so it will be like taking one doll at a time. They might be hard-headed about it, but a bit of persistence might do the trick. My daughter always enjoys taking her fake phone with her and act that she’s talking to someone, so it’s a great distraction for her if you’re actually going on a car ride 😉

Don’t bother if you’re judged:

I left this for last, how many times were you at a restaurant, plane or any public area and your child is … well being a child and you get some rolled eyes or sulking from other people, I did and I am sure all of you passed through that. What to do about it? Nothing, if you see someone doing it, just ignore them or smile, I am not going to apologize for my child acting like a child. Tantrums or just playing freely are just two things that children actually can do and can get away with that, so let them be and don’t take notice of what people say, your main focus will be your child and your child only. In my next blog, I will write about how to deal with tantrums especially when you’re at a restaurant and your child acts out, so stay tuned 😉

As long as we are on this point, I want to make a distinction, yes I said let kids be kids, but there’s also a limit, even more so in public places. We need to make a distinction between playing and misbehaving,  I mean if a child is acting that he is a scuba-diver in the pool, let him, but make sure he doesn’t turn into cannonballs and starts bothering other people or children with their epic splashes. Yes, that is something we parents need to take notice of, no one wants a relaxing day by the pool to turn into this. If you want them to enjoy, educate them and tell them to have fun, but always take note of there surroundings as we parents need to pitch in sometimes.

Remember, let your children build memories and let them play, trust me they will thank you later!  The important thing is to always learn from your mistakes as no one ever taught us to be parents, we need to learn along the way, but thankfully we live in a community where people share their ideas, so we don’t have excuses 😊 Speak up and discuss with other fathers or mothers, but NEVER, I mean NEVER compare your child to any other child as every child is different and your main focus is only your child and no one else.


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