Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

Kids Should Be Kids

Today, I realized I am a grown up. It’s not because I have a mortgage or a few stray gray hairs poking out. It’s not because my knees pop when I get out of bed or because I use clichés that people under 20 do not understand.

I realized I was a grownup when I told my kids a story about “when I was a kid” and they both rolled their eyes, just like I did when I was younger. When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand it when those “wise” adults used to preach to me about what kids should do.

Kids should be kids – how much more vague does that get?

But, I said it. I told my kids to go outside and be kids. I told them to get on their bikes, ride through the streets near our family’s summer cottage and meet other kids. I told them not to come back until they were sweaty, dirty and hungry. Most of all, I told them that when I was a kid, we acted like kids.

And then I realized it – Damn, I’m one of ‘those’ grown-ups.

My kids looked at me like I was crazy just like I did when people did the same to me. When I was young, I wanted to lounge around at the house and watch hours on end of “Days of Our Lives” and “Young and the Restless.” I wanted to play Atari and read my Judy Blume books all summer. I thought THAT was being a kid.

My children are no different – it’s just the technology that has changed. They want to lounge around and listen to their iPods. They want to text on their phones and play Nintendo DSi games. They want to watch Disney channel marathons for hours on end.

But, no, grownups have something else in mind. We have this vision of how kids should be – carefree somewhere other than where we are at the moment. We grownups are quite tricky. We really don’t know what it means to be a kid – we just want some peace and quiet to be grownups.

And so as my kids rolled their eyes, I realized that in order to get any peace as a grownup, I was going to have to act like a kid. And so I took off on my bike by myself, let the wind blow through my hair and left them playing their games and listening to their iPods.

As the 95-degree weather and humidity took its toll, I returned, exhausted, sweaty, dirty and hungry. Frustrated that my plan did not work, I issued a direct grown-up order: Kids should be kids. Go.” And off they went … not without another eye roll, though.

Grownups just don’t get it, do they?


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: July 6, 2010

© Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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