The British Faery: Being a Child...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Being a Child...

The Fae'bys and I had a silly, playful day last week. Goldilocks was feeling a little blue, and Little Fae was being quiet and shy in respect for his big sisters glum mood, so to cheer them up, I brought out the Skittles. Nothing cheers up children quicker than brightly coloured sweets!

First, they played a game in which they had to race each other to finish all the Skittles on their plate. There were 30, Little Fae confidently told me that '30 are hardly any! I can do 100 if I want'. I assured him I was sure he could too, but we should probably start with 30 ;) 
Suffice to say, the Skittles all got shoved in amongst fits of giggles lots of dribbles....

About half way through the first mouthful, they both realised they were Sour Skittles!! Nevertheless, they battled on until Goldilocks raised her arms in a triumphant gesture!

It was a lovely afternoon, and a lovely reminder that you are never to old to act like a child, no matter how sad or grown up you feel, even if you are a very serious 10 Year Old ;).
It saddens me that children are rushed along into adulthood, entered into school so early, given papers and pens, tests and observations.
We have our whole lives to be boring, or serious, to work and be exhausted, sad and fed up. We only have a very short period of this long life to have no cares or worries, to play and pull silly faces, get muddy and dance in the rain, to cause trouble and play fight with our brothers and sisters.

Instead of rushing the Children to grow up, we should be prolonging this wonderful part of life! When magic and wonder is still very real, and mysteries surround you, and summer lasts forever.
In Germany, many Children don't start school until 8, and I love that. We need to be taking notes!
It shouldn't matter one bit if a 5yr old can't read, what are they going to with that knowledge anyway? Do they *need* to read? Do they need to know how to count to 25? Or to write their name and recite shapes?
Of what use is that to them when all a 5 year old wants to do is climb, run and play?

By all means, I do not think there is anything wrong with young children who can read and write if that IS what they enjoy. I could read at 4, I was always reading, and I suspect many other 5 year olds love to read also, but is it important whether your 5 year old reads or not? As a nanny, I meet lots of parents, all with different parenting styles, and I also have seen children as part of a nursery setting.
There is this whole 'Oh, "So-n-So" is reading now, and can count up to 35'. Yes! He is only 3! He is so clever isn't he!' And I watch the other parents face fall, as their child cannot read, or even count to 10. It is a massive competition, who has the cleverest child? Who read first? Who spoke first?

I just think it is all madness.

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