Watching them play brings back memories of my childhood. Playing at the creek, or just out in the fields, my friends and I had a lot of outdoor time to just "play". Sometimes we played games, other times we just went with the inspiration of the moment. Most of our play time was unstructured and outside. How different that is today for so many of our children. Kids learn a lot about getting along, and about what they like and enjoy when we can find ways to let them explore and interact on there own. As parents it is our challenge to balance the need to "be a kid" and our need to protect and teach.
Unstructured play does invite instances of arguments, even bulling attempts. We do not want our kids to feel helpless or vulnerable in these situations, yet if we always protect them by providing parental or adult structure, they miss out on learning how to negotiate some of these social hurdles on their own.
How does your family balance the need to monitor and protect with the need your children have to learn to explore and be independent social creatures?
Enjoy this last month of summer.