Friday, March 25, 2011

Healthy Exposure

So, this week we had the privilege of visiting the zoo. Aidann is still going on & on about it. The only unfortunate thing is the part that she brings up the most often are these bright yellow birds we saw towards the end. "Mommy, I want to go see yellow birds" she says at least 5 times a day. Why do I say "unfortunate", lets just say those birds weren't just (clears throat) kissing....Lol! Of course. At least she doesn't know that. Anyway, on to tonight's post...

I think that play dates are a MUST when you have lil' ones. Some would say its for a stay at home mom's sanity,a chance to socialize with someone above 5, but I believe it is SO much more. Its a chance to expose your kids to others in order to learn how to deal/relate/interact. I am by NO MEANS suggesting you should let just any kids hang with your babies, on the contrary. I think the "selection process", if you will, is something a mom should take very seriously. But with play dates you are presented with the unique opportunity to take the steps towards preparing your children for the real world in a somewhat controlled environment.

You see, when a kid is just exposed to just their siblings, it can be a lil' less challenging because they are raised the exact same way, follow the same rules & expectations, they hold the same values, etc. When you throw a new child/children into the mix, its kind of a healthy new challenge. It will help them in learning how to problem solve, compromise, share, etc. It requires them to interact with people not like them, exactly what they will be faced with later on in the "Big World".

Some parents I have talked to say they would prefer to wait until their child is a lil' older, 4 or 5, before exposing them to others because they want to wait until they are more "established". But there in lies the problem, they are already established-set in their ways. By that age, their personalities are already solidified & they have missed out on the chance to develop some very necessary qualities & social skills that they will need later on. Interacting with others, ie play dates & so forth, challenge our kids to grow as a functioning part of society under the watchful eye of adults. They get to see how people/families do things differently & that's okay. It widens their horizons & helps them understand that "different" isn't necessarily wrong & we don't need to always judge. Diversity can be a good thing! There is a weakness in lack of exposure that our kids don't have to have. Exposure actually can make our kids stronger people & as parents we should try to find that healthy balance between having our kids play with their siblings & also having opportunities to interact with others from time to time.

Play dates can also be healthy for us. They present the unique opportunity to see other parents in action, what they do & don't do, say & don't say. We can learn from each other & help each other-We are not alone!  Raising well balanced kids is something I am sure we all desire & exposing our children to others is a very important key in doing so.Have a great night, All!

-M&M Momma


Play date snacks!

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