“You can fast-forward childhood, but you can’t rewind it.” These words by Jon Acuff left a huge impression on me. Of course, I want my kids to grow up, but it all seems to be happening way too fast! Kids at school are interested in having crushes, in fashion trends, and in TV shows my mom would never let me watch and I’m left searching for the secret for how to keep your kids young.
I could give in to help them feel cool, but I’d rather support their childlike interests. Why? Because I don’t want them to miss out on this stage. The day they start caring whether their outfits match will come, but for now, bring on the Pokémon cards and Our Generation dolls. We can’t pause things, but here are 3 ways to keep your finger off the fast-forward button.
Take the pressure off their image.
If you’re wondering how to keep your kids young, start here: Don’t make your kids feel like they have to live up to any expectations. While back-to-school shopping earlier this year, I kept trying to convince my kids to pick the shoes I thought were cool. My oldest son kept vetoing all my picks! I caught myself before saying it: “But all the other kids are wearing these!” Well, I guess I was more worried about my child fitting in than he was. Our kids don’t need the added pressure from us, so just let your child be who he or she is.
Help them choose the right friends.
When my son started fourth grade, he hung out with a kid who was always talking about girls he liked, used bad language, and was worried about fitting in and being liked. They were only 9! I encouraged my son to branch out and find other friends with similar interests as his. Who your kids hang around will greatly influence who your kids become and what they value. If you want to know how to keep your kids young, help your child choose the right friends.
Who your kids hang around will greatly influence who your kids become and what they value.
Embrace your inner-child.
My kids were beginning to show less and less interest in their toys and more interest in screen time. While there’s nothing wrong with this, I was fascinated when my husband bought himself a LEGO set. All of a sudden, all of my kids wanted to sort through their LEGOs and start rebuilding. Sometimes, in order to know how to keep your kids young, you have to learn how to be young yourself! One of our favorite annual traditions, No-Rules Day, has helped me embrace my inner child, too.
What are some ways you guard your children’s childhood?