Less policing, more appreciation?
Less policing, more appreciation?
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
We forget. As parents we’re quick to get caught up in the weighty matters of life: Bills, work, responsibilities, health, crime, relationships and the fear of death or failure. We’re full of difficult questions and worries (check our forums for proof of that!) All it takes, though, is a couple of hours lost in the world of as seen through the eyes of a child to remember that there’s more to life.

Not sure what I’m on about? Well, turn on your inner microscope and take a closer look:

Nature: Fresh air is great. It’s healthy and is also a wonderful escape from looking around the house and noticing dust bunnies under the couch. Imagine seeing a butterfly for the first time-the haphazard aerial dance between flowers- the way it pauses every now and then with symmetrical wings shuddering, only to slip between your fingers as you try to get it to sit on your palm. The almost impossible connection between this fluttering artwork and the caterpillar it once was.

Night time: For us, the sun goes down on a busy day, and we long to draw the blinds and sleep. For a child, the shadows on the walls hold pictures; the simple chattering of nocturnal birds and insects becomes a deafening chorus of “whatever is out there beyond the window?” Here come the dreams- a confusing tangle of mind-movies which don’t make sense, sometimes terrifying.

We rush from shop to shop, filling our baskets and refusing treats to our kids, yet they’re seeing a forest of knees, and a kaleidoscope of wonders- sweets, toys and more, all beguilingly revealed under bright lights to a soundtrack of deafening music. Sensory overload. Buildings full of curiosities which look awesome, tasty or interesting which they’re not allowed to touch.

Reading: We read stories to our kids, forgetting that while we peer at the words in the dim glow of the night light, they’re envisioning what they’re hearing. For them, we’re conjuring life out of words and drawings, breathing voices into the yet-to-be-learned letters on the page. While we rush to finish so they can get to sleep, we’re shaping their imaginations.

Supper: We see a plate of food- meant to be consumed with neat efficiency. A child sees the best roast potato or the finest scrap of meat, to be hoarded for that savoured last bite, or the dreaded peas to be shuffled around the plate in the hope that they’ll roll onto the floor- and DON’T LET THE HORRID BUTTERNUT INFECT THE TASTE OF THE CHICKEN! Food, for a child, is less about hunger than it is a learning experience of tastes and priorities.

So if we slow down and remember that what is important to us is not important to our children, and learn to see the world through their eyes, we’ll get to share in the awe and wonder of childhood, all over again.

What do you enjoying most with your children? Tell us about the activities at chatback@parent24.com that you both enjoy, and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.

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