Is it nothing to be happy? Of course we want our kids to be happy. And yet, we worry. I get it. I do. I have been there myself. But I truly believe we need to give them time to run, play and be happy.
We worry. It is understandable because we love our boys.
- We worry that they are doing “nothing” all day.
- That what they are interested in will not prepare them for the future.
- That they are wasting their time playing on the computer.
- That they will not learn what they need to know before it is too late.
But we really need to stop and think . . . Is it nothing to be happy? Is it ever really too late to learn something? Is worry even productive?
Making sure our boys’ learning lives are a priority is a main focus of our site. If we want to raise boys who love to learn we also need to make sure that they are happy.Long ago I ran across this quote from the 1700s and I loved it from the first time I saw it. Read it and take it in. Think about it and make some changes.
You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762
Think a bit about this quote and relax. They are being children–and that is perfectly all right. It is who they are. We seem to forget that – they are children. They are not little adults. They do not need to spend all of their precious time as children preparing for the future. They need to be children. Remember, they only get one chance!
As far as the claims I hear all too often from parents complaining that their children are doing nothing . . . I can assure you they are most certainly not doing nothing, they are busy. They are doing something that matters to them. They are playing and learning and this is what they are meant to be doing at this time in their lives.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s quote is from 1762. Just think. For this long (and longer) parents have worried about their children spending too much time playing. Yet, so much research shows that play is the very foundation of learning. Through play, they learn.
I think we need to stop spending so much of our time worrying and start spending more of it enjoying the short period of time our boys are young. Show them that you value who they are by letting them run around and play, by letting them follow their passions. Give them as much free time as you possibly can. Drop organized activities if you have to free up some time. Make the effort to clear the calendar so they can play.
Please don’t tell them they are doing nothing all day. That is simply not true and to be honest, it is very hurtful to hear that what you want to do is seen as unimportant. They are learning.
- They are learning about themselves, about their thoughts, and their feelings.
- They are learning about their bodies, free movement, and how confident they feel when they get part way up the tree.
- They are learning about nature, how the sun warms their face, how the sand feels beneath their feet.
- They are learning about persistence and dealing with frustrations and so much more . . .
- They are always learning.
Give your boys time to be happy, to run around, to skip, play and laugh all day.
Is it nothing to be happy? It is everything! Join them 🙂
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