Stop Keeping Up

There is this idea I’ve noticed lately that we absolutely must be doing more things, particularly new things, with our kids in order to get them to learn.

We must always be creating new sensory experiences, new invitations to play, new craft ideas, for our little ones or we consider ourselves to be failing.

Can I be honest with you? You do not need to put so much pressure on yourself.

Really.

In our pre-internet parenting days, my husband and I kept things simple with our oldest daughter. We read to her. We coloured and drew with her. We played with play dough. We made snowmen. We dug in the sandbox. We arranged alphabet letters on the fridge. We went for walks. We climbed monkey bars and slid down slides. We played dress-up with funny hats and boas. We had tea parties. We played dolls. We cut with safety scissors. We picked out colours and shapes around us.

I didn’t concern myself with what other people were doing because we were doing what came naturally to us.

And you know what? Our daughter turned out fine. She’s an honour roll student. She’s a critical thinker. She’s creative.

We did much the same with her brother and sister when they came along. And they’re just as smart, just as creative, and just as good at thinking things through that she is, in their own unique ways.

I get bogged down some days with the overwhelming amount of ideas on Pinterest and Facebook. I actually have to take breaks from looking for more, I get so exhausted. I want to introduce all these amazing opportunities to learn to our toddler, that I sometimes forget to just do what comes naturally.

We can be that way with teaching our kids about the world around them, about discipline, and even about God.

We search and search for ways others have done things because we don’t have the confidence in the very abilities God has given us to raise our kids.

Yes, it is wise to look for resources when we don’t know. Or when we need encouragement. I believe God has gifted some very talented people for those purposes.

But when you find yourself in the comparison trap, when you find yourself overwhelmed, when you find yourself feeling like you just can’t keep up one moment longer, consider taking a break.

Grab some crayons and draw stick people. Crack open Dr. Seuss. Smush some play dough. Make sandcastles or snow angels.

Just because you can.

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