Call me a rebel, but I let my kids ride their bikes without helmets. I let them walk barefoot through grass where (gasp!) there *might* be snakes (hello…there are snakes everywhere in Texas). I let them have trans fats like Oreos and Ding Dongs every once in a while. On occasion, I even let them drink a coke. That’s right, a real coke.
I read something this morning that got me to thinking. Paula Spencer of Newsweek wrote an enlightening article about how “We Protect Our Kids from Everything But Fear.”
I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to grow up experiencing life. How sad is it that some parents are so overly protective of their kids that their kids will NEVER really fully experience what it’s like to be a kid? Take a moment and think back to some of the things you were allowed to do as a kid…for me, it was the little things that made life fun. Plus, I learned some important lessons.
Things like (gasp!) riding in the car with the windows open and my arm waving wilding in the breeze…the force of the wind pushing my arm back and forth…felt like I was FLYING and it taught me about aerodynamics. Drinking a bottled Coke after dumping an entire bag of Planter’s peanuts in the bottom of it. Salt and caffiene…what a combination…taught me chemistry — the mixing of some compounds was a GOOD thing. Swimming in one of the many “creeks” that ran through our South Texas farm…keeping an eye out for snakes improved my reasoning/thinking skills (not to mention coordination) — was that a snake or a stick over there on the bank and did I really want to get close enough to find out?
My biggest fear for my kids is that I’m still not letting them live their lives to the fullest…that they aren’t experiencing enough of the things that will enrich their early years and give them the kind of memories that will last a lifetime.
You can only go on so many vacations and to so many museums and read so many books…those are all great things, but they do not make up for LIVING life full speed ahead. I read a great quote over at Shannon’s blog that Peach left:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with
the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside,
totally worn out & proclaiming
“Wow, What a Ride!” Author unknown
As of today, I’m officially adopting it for our family, and especially for my kids.
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