Why are we not letting our kids be kids?

I was talking to a woman today while waiting on the deli line at the grocery store and we began talking about our children.  I mentioned that Liam was in preschool.  Our conversation evolved from that and at one point I mentioned how excited I am to take our children to Sesame Place this summer.  It was at that point the woman looked at me in horror.  My first reaction was maybe I am misreading this and then she simply stated, “Anna is spending the summer in enrichment classes.”  Our conversation ended there.

Let me take a moment to give you a small background on me.  I am a daughter of a teacher, a sister of a teacher, and a wife of a teacher.  I graduated college with a BA in Media Studies and English.  I value education.  I think education is very important and should not be an entitlement but there for everyone.  With that said is there not a time where we can let our kids just be kids?  Shouldn’t they have the chance to use their imaginations?  How about play in the mud and dare I say get dirty?  I fear that we are creating a future where our children are not going to know how to play.  That might not seem like such a travesty but without playing we do not expand our imaginations.  And an imagination can create and think up some miraculous things.

As I stated above I am surrounded by teachers and although I am not one I do think I have some understanding of the pressure and rigor that our teachers and students are put through.  Putting the new common core standards aside I feel as though we are creating a generation of test anxiety children who truly believe that anything less than an A is unacceptable and anything less than a B is failing.  Why are we doing this to them?  Is it because we wished we had done better in school?  Or is that we hope for more opportunities for our children?  Even if it is the latter at what cost is it worth it?

Every night my husband and I read to our children.  Every game is a counting, color, shapes, etc learning experience however we also have time to just play.  To pretend, to dream, to make believe.  We cannot lose sight on these important aspects because we are not raising robots we are raising children that I would have to believe we want to be happy.  There is a time and place for everyhing but just remember there is also time to be silly and free.

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