Marcus’ Interesting Things #2 – Parents Corner

I’ve read plenty about parenting that has been inspiring my own practices lately. To be more specific though, it’s more about not parenting while parenting … let kids be, make sure their basics are well covered, healthy food, good sleep, plenty of exercise and stimulation, interesting activities, and then generally allowing them to do anything unless it jeopardizes their safety/livelihood.

Letting our daughter jump over these cracks from a height was terrifying as a parent, but she was having the time of her life.
  1. Austin Kleon shares a nice little morsel:

Most parents conceive of themselves as teachers when they would be much better off thinking of themselves as librarians who provide their children with the time, space, materials, and resources to grow into whatever they want to become.

2. Abandon Parenting, and Just Be a Parent
Authors argue to just allow children to explore the world through play and observation. There’s no need for us adults to impose our notions of the world that are largely built on experiences of failure, poor parenting, heart break, hurts, etc. We bring all sorts of baggage from falling, getting hurt, fear of being judged, insecurities about our children’s wellbeing and safety, that we can over-parent or hover over our children, when what really helps them thrive is figuring things out on their own.

3. Kids who engage in the arts feel better about themselves
In The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2019, one of the points is about how kids have more self confidence when they engage regularly in art. Both drawing/painting, but also from reading. This article, in combination of Austin Kleon’s time, space, materials post, has inspired me over the past month to invest way more into all sorts of materials for my daughter to play with. From new blocks, new duplo, paints, markers, the amount of materials and mediums for kids to engage in are endless, and have great benefits for their development.

4. Purchase I’m happy about
Check out Duplo blocks on Ebay if you are a parent looking for a set of blocks. I found all the sets on Amazon are pre-made structures and things, rather than just the generic set of blocks that allow kids to imagine and build whatever they want without instructions. I got 100 blocks for $40 shipped, which is probably double the amount of blocks for the same price as I would get from an Amazon set.

5. New site to order toys from …. has some really awesome toys. I’ve ordered this awesome marble run duplo set (not genuine duplo of course, but great reviews), to add to our duplo collection.

6. This picture from Austin Kleon again, really sums up parenting really well. Yelling, bossing around, and lecturing are not effective ways to speak to your child (Joanna Faber’s book is excellent for alternative methods of communicating). Giving kids choices is a great way to help them develop their own decision making skills, and experience the negative emotions with choosing poorly.

7. Children need to play outside
If you read parenting articles, you will have read tons about how europeans and nordics parent their children (seeing as they are amongst the happiest, and academically strongest in the world). Finland has a different view of what kids should be doing in school, and that includes plenty of outdoor play, even if it’s cold outside. I remember as a child, playing outside, jumping on rocks or ledges, climbing trees, rolling in grass, all of this is physical learning and motor development that also helps how you see the world. I do my best to model and practice going outside with our daughter, often.

8. When is it too cold for toddlers to play outside?
Pairs well with the wall street journal article above.

9. Not limiting screen time for children
First off, to get out of the way, there is no scientific studies that show that there is some sort of optimum screen time. Obviously there are always going to be better ways of spending time, such as playing, or being creative, I think that as parents, we would do a lot better monitoring our own screen time and being a good model of healthy screen use while also being happy and productive without it.