Childhood: Why the Rush?

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

Anyone with children will know that they do not rush. It doesn’t matter how many times you say you’re going to be late, we’re going to miss out, we have to leave now! They take their sweet sweet time. And wow, can’t that be frustrating! When you need them to just please hurry up!

And so, taking your time comes to be seen as a bad thing. For adults too. Our world seems to value being busy, rushing around, having one hundred things on the go at once. But what are we missing in the rush?

Yesterday, while watching my children play outside for hours at the creek, I pondered over all of this. They climbed rocks, waded in the water, made paths through the bush, did some art, collected bugs, explored the water with magnifying glasses, climbed trees, and played, and played, and played. And never did I see them rush. Never were they so concerned with doing everything at once, that they forgot to appreciate the present. They took their time. They enjoyed themselves. I tried to think back to a time when I had seen them rushing through something (without me making them), and I came up with nothing. Unless they were playing a game, running away from each other, playing hide and seek, then I can’t think of a time.

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

Wow. Think about that for a second. They never rush.

Does that amaze you as much as it does me? Can you remember the last time you really truly took your time? You enjoyed what you were doing without thinking of anything else? Without worrying about other things you had to be doing? Without one eye on the clock?

What a gift children are to us. They can teach us so much. If only we would listen.

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

“The soul is healed by being with children.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Instead of recognizing this beautiful quality of slowing down, of enjoying life, of really seeing and appreciating things, we encourage them to rush through it. To think in adult ways. Ok, there are some places we do have to be on time. But, so often (for me anyway) saying ‘hurry up’ becomes a habit, and is more about my impatience than a necessity.

All too soon they will be grown up with a job and a house and a family of their own. There is no rush. There is time. What is the point of life if not to enjoy it?

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

So I’m trying not to rush my kids, whenever I can. I’m trying to banish ‘hurry up’ from my vocabulary. I want to preserve this childlike sense of wonder for as long as possible. It is a beautiful quality, and I want to show them that I value it. As they grow and mature, the weight of the world might squash some of it out of them. But if I’m careful, maybe I can help them preserve just a little bit.

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

So, my precious girls,

I won’t say ‘hurry up’, when you’ve stopped to smell the flowers.

I won’t rush you when you’re admiring the shape of the clouds.

I’ll let you lead me away to show me that interesting bug.

You’ll join in with what I’m doing, and we’ll go at your pace.

I’ll delight in the world, just like you do.

You’re learning, and I’m learning too.

This is important. This here is what life is really about. Thank you for showing me that.

Childhood: Why the Rush? | Happiness is here

 

44 thoughts on “Childhood: Why the Rush?

  1. Lovely!!

    My children have been my gift of wonder!!!

    I love how they see beauty and worth in what seems like everything (that’s why I find hundreds of fall leaves hidden from this “trash it” mama in the corner of my daughters closet!)

    It has caused this rushed mama to slow down and actually enjoy the small gifts in life that I had forgotten about!!

  2. All too often we rush our children not just through the day, but through childhood. We sometimes wish that they had more adult-like qualities (being responsible and clean, patience, honesty when in trouble, etc.). David Elkind discusses how this happens and what to do about it in his book The Hurried Child. I use this book with clients and suggest it to anyone I know dealing with these things.

    Slowed me down, and I enjoy the time I have with my 7 kids so much more.

  3. Pingback: A Parenting Generation that Steals our Kids’ Childhood | Growing with Matilda

  4. I’m sadly guilty of this myself. Slave to time is what we are. And the whole point of me stopping working to stay home was to take more time. But we become so over scheduled that relaxing and being in the moment become almost a fault, a waste of time… I wrote about my troubles with time this week, and this reaches me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. wow!!! such a beautifully written post, thanks for sharing your thoughts! There generally is no urgent rush, is there I think I’m guiltly of rushing myself & this must also mean my children are rushed at times. I’m going to try to pay more attention to this over the next few days & see what happens!! 🙂

  6. This is beautifully said, thank you. I like it so much I’m going to include it in my summary of the best posts for the week!

    I’m trying really hard to remember to take the time to really enjoy the “little things” with my girls so this is further inspiration. 🙂

  7. Pingback: The Sunday Sleep In: the Best of the Week in One Place! Sunday 26th October 2014 - LoulouZooLoulouZoo

  8. Pingback: The week that was...Natural learning - Happiness is here

  9. What a lovely reminder. I rush myself and my kids so much. Often it’s because I’m disorganised myself. But what about when we really do need to be somewhere … how best to manage that?

    • Well, sometimes you do have to don’t you? But I figure if you’re not rushing around all the time they might be more likely to listen at those times. Although, sometimes it’s my fault. I leave things to the last minute. I could start getting them ready earlier so that we still didn’t need to rush.

  10. Yes yes yes!!! My son who is in Grade 1 is constantly saying ‘it’s not fair I don’t have time to play anymore’ It breaks my heart…kids should have all the time in the world to explore and play. My boy’s favourite activity is to stay at home and play in the backyard…love it

  11. Yes! We try to slow down and enjoy the moments too, try to not rush. It really does sneak into our days if I don’t stay mindful about it though. The book Simplicity Parenting it great on this topic too 🙂

  12. Pingback: Homeschooling with a baby - Happiness is here

  13. Pingback: What’s the rush? | Downey Co-op Preschool

  14. Pingback: Stop Trying to Make Everything Educational - Happiness is here

  15. Pingback: Đừng cố làm cho mọi thứ phải có tính giáo dục nữa | Cái kho

  16. Reading your post made me reminisce about my little precious daugher’s childhood… I’m now so happy of enjoying the quality time of it. You made me blow the mere thought about my bad hair day. THANKS.

  17. So true and so very important – thank you. It was my kids who showed me up for rushing too much, and we’ve (I’ve!!) done sooo much to slow down since. Lighter scheduling has helped immensely and I echo the ‘Simplicity Parenting’ book recommendation above. In an attempt to have less conflict situations with my kids (perhaps none? – good to at least aim for, IMHO), I was forced to realise that the times we clashed were the times when *I* was trying to rush them to do something/get somewhere. So in addition to not overscheduling, I’ve found that beginning preparations earlier, pointing out to them the real-life consequences of not being on time (when it comes to appointments and the like) then letting go of my own stress levels about being late (‘cos the world won’t end, right?) have all helped. I can’t remember the last time I ‘lost it’ or the kids had a meltdown just trying to get us all out the door. Both used to be regular occurrences. Our wee ones really do run on ‘child time’ – so resisting or pushing against that is a recipe for disaster, like trying to row upstream! It does make me wonder when we adults lost that (natural) pace of ‘one thing at a time’ – it’s all we can realistically do anyway so setting higher expectations is pretty much guaranteed to lead to disappointment. Still working on that one…. 😉

  18. Beautifully written. I’m so glad there are other parents that feel the same as I do. The last thing I want is to rush my little boy into growing up. However, I too hope that when he does he won’t lose his sense of wonder.

  19. Pingback: Tuổi thơ: Sao lại phải VỘI VÃ? | Bubu Huong

  20. Girl, this is spot ON! I am including this on one of my Mode stories but I also wanted to share with you my blog post I wrote a few weeks ago that I think you would like! http://ashleyglass.net/new-blog/why-i-stopped-telling-my-son-to-be-big-and-strong?rq=why%20i

    You are SO right, why do we rush childhood? Why do they have to hurry and run, run, run? I so badly am trying to embrace the present, being here now, and enjoying every second of their still little years! Great work!!

  21. Pingback: Get out of the Play! | Happiness is here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *