Why I let Kids Play by Herself

My heart drops a bit whenever my 3-year old strives to be more adventurous for my liking.

She likes to play on the slide. Have the swing pushed stronger than what is fitting for her age.

I imagine her falling and breaking a leg, and it takes some effort not to shout, “Be careful!” whenever she starts a new activity.

Here she is playing on the slide alone. She goes up…

And up on her own…

Cheekily waves when she reaches the top:

Then slides down down down:

Laughing with delight.

As a three year old, my daughter is still full of fun. She doesn’t think about falling down or breaking bones like her mom. For her, she just goes and goes and goes.

I think there’s a lot of things to learn from our kids — Genuinely having fun is one of them.

Letting go and taking some controlled risk is another.

I think the world’s too preoccupied with parenthood nowadays too. There’s too much expectation on out kids and perfection on ourselves that’s going on.

Don’t touch that!” We would exclaim. “It’s dirty!!!!”

“Don’t go on the floor,” we would shout. “Yuuuucckkkky germs!”

“Be careful,” we would warn. “You might hurt yourself!”

But the thing is, being overly careful removes a lot of the fun. How many kids are raised in a sanitized state that they never really let go and be kids?

But they’ll get dirty!” We say.

Well, that’s why we bathe them later when they’re madungis (unclean).

But they might get hurt!”

Well, not if you’re in close proximity and control the environment so they won’t get hurt too badly.

Kids bones also recover faster.

As long as it’s not too high and too fast, some bruises will last only a few days.

What’s more, letting them learn on their own what is safe and dangerous does wonders in improving their decision making skills.

Besides, it’s a better bonding experience than giving them an iPad to pass the time.

Please note, I said, let them play by themselves with supervision. Not to leave them in the playground area alone. That’s just sheer negligence.

But let them play.

Let them be kids, exert some healthy energy and play.

It’s good for the heart, good for some family bonding, and it’s good for developing some skills.

Happy week everyone!

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