It’s hard being a parent today!
As we celebrate 10 years we have noticed how hard it is being a parent today!
When we first opened the centre mums were able to walk into Kids Paradise with a pram and a toddler. Its now a pram, a toddler, and a mobile phone that mum has to manage. That’s hard work with toddlers when you have to text on a phone, push a pram and manage the energy of a toddler.
Another change has been the expectation children have for stimulation. 11 years ago we surveyed kids and all they wanted was a ball pit and a slide. Today kids want more stimulation and excitement. This is hard work for parents finding the next “Wow” for kids. I really feel for parents having to entertain kids in a way previous generations didn’t have to. There seems to be this need for more stimulation, more wow, more…
We have also noticed how much harder it is for parents to say no to kids. This increase in stimulation is doing something in their brains where they are very emotional and at times quite aggressive. Poor little darlings! Recently we encountered a little taking home some play equipment from the interactive rooms. We stopped the family and asked if they were aware that the child had some play equipment. The parents indicated that they were aware but it was easier to take the equipment then to put up with the emotional complexity that would erupt when the child was told that they couldn’t take the equipment home. Increased stimulation and emotional states are exhausting for parents.
Soul Fatigue has increased. One of the symptoms of soul fatigue is saying yes to short term solutions at the cost of long term outcomes. We say yes to a child taking equipment home because we want to avoid the tantrum but this isn’t a good long term parenting strategy. Stealing has increased within Kids Paradise at a speed and volume not previously encountered. Parents are fatigued by their kids and it just becomes hard to say no. It’s easier to take a doll home, a pram home or pretend play equipment then to face the tantrum.
My heart breaks for parents and for kids.
I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t want to be a good loving parent.
We have grappled with this question for a long time in regards to future development of Kids Paradise.
Do we get another whiz bang wow factor?
We feel that this is not the pathway for us.
We have made the decision to provide a space that encourages families to play in a way that encourages families to connect, to explore, to grow, to learn together.
The connection between a child and parent is so important. We want to encourage an environment where parents can interact in play with their kids, where they can snuggle and read a book, watch them climb, slide and jump or where parents can have some quiet time observing their kids playing away from their every day routines.
We want parents who struggle to know how to connect with kids in natural, simple ways.
Instead of purchasing the latest whiz bang equipment that might be the hit until the next round of wow comes along we have made the decision to focus on 3 types of play:
Free Play – This is where children are encouraged to interact freely with the play spaces provided.
Guided Play – There will be times when we provide a staff member to play with the children, guiding them in different forms of interactive play. We have a Doctor, a Grocer and a Barrista coming during the school holidays to guide children in imaginative play sessions.
Workshop Play – This is where we will be providing children with step by step play opportunities.
During the school holidays we have cooking, music, and story telling workshops available all for free.
We want children to have fun and to give their boundless energy expression but we also want children and parents to have a joyful, peaceful connection.