Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Child's Play

I recently read the article Apartment Complex Bans Kids From Playing Outside about an apartment complex in California.  As a parent, I find this shocking.  I would understand this for "Adult Only" complexes, and definitely with playing in hallways and stairwells.  But, outside?

I have seen this also close to where I live in Florida.  My parents live in an apartment complex that has a lot of 2 and 3 bedroom units.  Recently, my mom told me that the kids were no longer allowed to play in the large courtyards when they visited.  I was shocked, especially since I was getting ready to move and was seriously considering the same complex.

My parents' complex was perfect for a young family.  Small "villa" style apartments.  Each group of apartments surrounding a courtyard.  Throughout the complex there are several of these groupings.  It is a beautifully maintained complex.  This was a complex that really was designed for families, but has evidently decided that they don't want them anymore.  Or rather, they don't want the young kids that need to get outdoors and play.

As a mother, I want my children to go outside and play.  I encourage it.  We have bikes and scooters, and other small outside toys to encourage getting out and being active.  I even have a little put-put golf set for them to play with outside.  We always pick up our outside toys after playing and put them away.

I understand no playing in hallways or blocking sidewalks.  I definitely understand teaching your children to be polite and courteous.  But, keep it real.  Children need to play.  That is, of course, unless we want to raise a generation of overweight children who don't know how to enjoy life without electronics.

Good parenting doesn't mean a perfect, quiet, neat child. One of the many things that comes with good parenting though is teaching our children respect and when they can and can't just cut loose.  It is important that children have a place that they can just be a kid.  Kids need to know that they can just let go and be a kid.  A great place for that is at home.

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