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  • Naomi Sukenik

They don't need you.. they want you

When I begin talking about self directed play (or even how my blogs here started out there always comes a time when you notice you are less needed, just wanted!


In the beginning in order to set some kind of routine I would offer different outlets: art, science, reading, 'make me sweat', gardening, create. In the beginning they would chose the order of when what would happen but I had the activity ready for them. It was never me telling them how to play with the material provided or the activity, it was simply offering the material. There was no specific outcome set. The intrigue normally lasted for about an hour depending on what the activity was and which of the kids was the most into it. The hierarchy of age or knowledge exists within siblings as well as in our society.

Now I can barely write about our days because the day goes by so fast with them initiating a game and being in it for hours. Then they come to see what the next thing is that they chose and they go do that. Our create the other day was making people out of napkins, pipe cleaners and a stamp. This was Leeor's initiative. At the same time Tom made a quiver for his bow and arrow. It was out of PVC pipe in the beginning but that didn't hold enough arrows, then he came up with using the milk carton. He cut it and designed it and it holds many arrows.

Leila wanted to make a person like Leeor but when there wasn't an exact copy of the materials so she kind of lost it. That's ok. I didn't feel like I needed to quickly find her something else of interest or the exact materials. I left her to it and let her know that I understand she wants the same exact thing but we don't have anymore. I told her I was sorry she was sad.

I remember the time when Tom was two and he really wanted to jump in puddles in the rain but it wasn't and hadn't rained. I can't make it rain, I told him and I'm sorry he was sad.

We don't have to always entertain, fix, teach, help. Actually, I think we shouldn't most of the time. When do we learn the most important lessons? When things are not easy.

What have you learned now? Are things easy for you? what realizations have you come to?

Just remember your kids are fine, they learn on their own, all the time!


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