please, give us permission to play like kids…

Posted: July 20, 2012 in For Parents and Guardians, For Teenagers
Tags: , , ,

instead of adults. because  it’s not that we want to be having sex at age 13 or drinking and experimenting with drugs at age 15… it’s just that some of us don’t see many other children our age playing board games or coloring or playing kickball or stickball in the streets. sure, a lot of our recreational options depend on where we live, but we’d like you to know that regardless of our neighborhood, city or state, we want to enjoy our youth. it seems a fog has been rolling over younger and younger kids that brainwashes many of us into thinking that we need to look and act older.

maybe it’s the movies and tv we’re watching or the music that we’re listening to or the video games we’re playing that are shrinking our needs for imagination. maybe it’s because everything is in front of our eyes and at our finger tips and there’s no need to imagine anymore. or maybe it’s the violence in the streets that is compelling us indoors when we use to be outside playing and creating and imagining. but wherever the pressure’s coming from… we’re not ready for it. we’re not ready for sex and drugs and the risks and responsibilities that go with adult behavior, no matter how convincingly we say we are… and we want to laugh and play in ways that aren’t mean or disrespectful to ourselves and our own bodies and spirits. but it almost feels like we’re not allowed to stay, and play young. it feels like we don’t have enough options and the more news about war and dishonesty and cruelty we see, the less likely it feels that we can go back to the innocence of playing like children deserve to play. we look to our peers but a lot of them are acting in grown up ways also… and we look to adults, and they’re often telling us to grow up and cautioning us to not be so naive and innocent… so we end up thinking that it’s not okay to be playful and youthful and that it’s actually something to be embarrassed about.

essentially, what we’re saying is that we need your permission… we need to be shown how to play and we need to be given opportunities to adventure. we need to be spoken to about the risks of adult behavior and at the same time made to feel safe enough to get lost in our imaginations without the fear of being teased or surprised… and we need to grow up in homes or taken on vacations to new places where we can simply act our age… and be appreciated and even revered for acting our age. so maybe you might not want to over-react when we play spin the bottle (like you probably did). maybe you don’t need to buy us the tight clothes and make-up even though we keep nagging you to so we can fit in. and maybe, just maybe, you can find a patch of dirt or plot of grass in a park somewhere and run around with us (if you’re not already doing so) because we’d love to see you smile at us when you see us playing like children.

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