After all the talk, I finally tried impromptu playdate this past weekend, by first creating a circle with parents I know who live around Dana Park (let me know if you'd like me to add you). Then I let folks know I'm around this weekend. A mom replied saying how about 10am Saturday, and it was on! Another family joined us later. And two more said they tried to get their kids out of the house but wasn't successful. And two more thanked me. Not bad for fist try. ;-)
The extended playdate turned out to be a lot of fun. The kids ran around, played some football, had fun stick-fighting, found someone hung a hammock, and made good use of it. Then we decided to go to one family's house, just around the block. New toys! My son was very happy. :) Then we went with one of the moms to check out a new Udon shop we found, which was super delicious. Everyone came home satisfied and my husband later thanked me for planning a fun weekend. :)
Back to that stick fighting. A mom just mentioned to me that she's worried about her boy picking up play fighting from other kids at the school. That's a tough one... I can understand her concern on kids and violence, especially in today's crazy environment. I sympathize with her on two levels.
First, it was not too so long ago, I agonized over my son getting his first water gun. My husband was baffled by my concerns, it made no sense to him, when he grew up with all kinds of toy guns. Times have changed... apparently according to a study in Pediatrics, 67 percent of parents believe it’s never OK for a child to play with toy guns.
My own thinking changed after reading the book Raising Cain on how boys are different from girls, and need their space to imagine and rough play, that it's healthy for their growth and development. To the point now in 3rd grade, my son has a couple of nerf guns that he enjoys playing with his friends and his dad too. He's careful with them, especially around his sister or younger kids.
Second, parenting philosophy is so personal, and many people have such strong opinions: it's not easy when you're in the minority. I was big on sleep training and recommended it to all my friends, only to find that very few does it. I can talk until I'm blue in the face and not get any converts. I learned the hard way to accept my friends' choices.
What do you think on this? Both on kids and guns/violence, or on feeling like you're in the minority in terms of parenting philosophy? How do you not cave in on how you'd like to parent because you see everyone else doing something different?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this... so I posted a thread here to make it easier for you to post comments. Your thoughts might also be helpful to that mom I was talking to.
Reply here: https://yana.com/msg?id=482
Btw, despite the rain, we did manage to go to the Chinatown Parade last weekend. The Lion Dance class at the Pao Arts Center was terrific! And we met up with another family there, always fun. :) This weekend we're planning to either ski or check out Boston Public School's "best of the best" Science Fair. Let us know if you wanna join us.
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