The Daily Groove

Growing Down

Phrases like "child's play" and "cry like a baby" and "grow up!" expose an unspoken belief of our culture: children are expected to have fun and express their feelings openly, while grown-ups are expected to accept that life is mostly a grind with little room for authenticity.

Perhaps, then, our desire for our children to be happy and authentic is partly a wish for ourselves. Luckily, modeling is the most effective parenting tool, so let's model authenticity and lightness today by "growing down"...

  • Eat spaghetti with your fingers
  • Wear shoes that don't match
  • Wear no shoes at all... in the rain
  • Don't delay gratification
  • Scream when you feel like it
  • Pee in the grass!

No need to worry what other grown-ups might think. Just tell them you're sacrificing your adultness for the good of your children. :)

Comments (closed)

Your turn!

Here's some "growing down" examples sent in by readers. What a playful, creative bunch you are!

  • Just today I was out with [my son] in the garden and, like he does, I peed on the grass ;-) I had to laugh when I read this suggestion in your email
  • Lying down on the kitchen floor! Now, of course, all kids and pets like to lie down there too -- between the stove and the sink -- so I can do a wonderful dance over them, sometimes sprinkling them with water...
  • When he's wearing his "light-up" shoes and wants to stomp his feet, I stomp with him, even though my shoes don't light up!
  • Play in the dirt, make mud pies, let your children do your hair for the day...and pick your clothes -- I've done this one and it's very interesting :)
  • My 21 month-old son loves it when we sit on the kitchen floor to eat.
  • Swing with my kids at the park (...their friends think it's hilarious!)
  • Sing silly songs with hand motions.
  • Dance wildly to aforesaid silly songs in the living room. (I even leave the blinds open!)
  • Jumping on the bed
  • Licking my plate
  • Singing silly made up songs and changing other songs to be positive
  • Eating candy before dinner
  • Play in the mud
  • Have whip cream fights
  • Paint using our hands... and feet
  • Lie on our backs and make cloud shapes
  • I love to bounce on the bed (standing up) whilst singing a "bouncy bouncy", that looks pretty silly but it's great fun.
  • Building big sand castles and then running and jumping into them.
  • Playing on the playground equipment too.
  • Doing a funny skipping-jumping walk up the street when we are shopping really lightens dragging feet.
  • Playing the ukelele really badly while singing "Old MacDonald"
  • The list goes on ... I'm a natural!

Re: Your Turn!

Last night I did a cartwheel on the bed during a TI conference call... un-muted, with my phone and headset on. I was laughing harder than the girls even were.

Re: Growing Down

Ooooooh THE funnest is riding on those toddler-mobiles, my son has a firetruck and a tractor and blazing around the deck or the livingroom on these is SO much fun - get up some speed and lift your feet and feel the wind in your hair... I copied my son as he slammed it into the side of the deck post - the jostle felt good! I could relate to his funny back and forth riding ritual ending with a big BUMP! Like a window into their world...