The Outside Solution
On those days that the indoors start to get to me, and I find myself becoming a bit claustrophobic with the four surrounding walls, parenting issues just seem magnified. The kids are louder, their tiffs are amplified, the messes they make just seem bigger, and on and on.
When the world seems smaller and small problems seem bigger, I realized that something automatically helps me feel a whole lot better—going outside. I don’t mean running outside for a moment of peace and quiet to escape from the “madding crowd” (though that helps at times). I mean bringing the kids along outside too.
Beneath towering trees and a timeless sky, amidst the cheerful sounds of birds and breezes, everything seems just a little more peaceful, enjoyable, and manageable.
With a few pieces of chalk, kids can create an imaginary world of fun, a hop-scotch tournament, or I can give an impromptu and interesting “chalk talk” (educational live class with pictures included).
They find sticks, and they are knights or soldiers.
They find dirt and they are digging for treasure or building castles.
They find bugs and they have discovered a whole new tiny world of living creatures.
They find grass, plants, and flowers and they have soft ground to fall on during a game of rough and tumble, or a place to run around and play tag.
And in the meantime, I can sit and take a few breaths of fresh air while watching them run around and play. Pretty soon they notice me sitting there and I get invited to a game of tag, or asked to draw a chalk train. After all, they want me to be a part of the fun…that’s what parents are for.