I recently read this book, "Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids" by Kim John Payne, and if there is ever a book to change and inspire me to evolve as a parent, this is it. "Too much stuff, too many choices and not enough time make kids feel anxious.", explains the author.
In this ever accelerating world of more is better, over stimulation and constant go, go, go, our children are loosing their childhood. This is the brief moment in life when children should be allowed to just be kids, not little adults worrying about the pressures and troubles of the world. These days there seems to be this pressure to follow the herd, to do what all the other parents are doing which usually involves trying to raise these "well rounded" genius kids that can "do it all". My child can speak 3 different languages, juggle, is the best player on his soccer, baseball & basketball team, marched in a anti war protest and played Mozart on the piano by the age of 5. Okay, that may be an exaggeration for most, but there are those families. Our children can't cope, and at ever increasing rates are being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, OCD, depression and other mental issues. "We have misjudged what our children can handle and now have a whole generation of neurologically damaged and emotionally stunted human beings.".
Children need rhythm, calm and peace in their daily lives. As parents, we owe it to our children to give them those things and to protect them from the assault on their childhood innocence. It's our responsibility to filter and choose what reaches them. We need to give our children the gift of boredom. Yep, remember boredom? That thing which essentially forced us to get up and create our own entertainment or go outside? We need to give them back the skills to come up with entertainment beyond television, Wii and the computer which will, in turn, cultivate their creativity.
First thing on my list is to get some containers for storage and pack up all of my kids toys except for a few carefully chosen items. We're starting a toy rotation in the spirit of simplifying. Hell, this is sure going to make clean up time easier!