(this tree picture is from a different day. I am just loving the lingering beauty in my part of the woods!)
The baby could hardly contain his excitement, running and giggling and running and giggling and running and....giggling. Cute little three year-old was more measured and deliberate about where she chose to spend her time, but no less happy. I enjoyed following their bliss, lifting little ones down from stranded high places or climbing through tunnels or going down the slide with our arms in the air (the baby especially love to watch me do this). Is it just me, or is acting like a kid again so much fun sometimes? Letting those inhibitions free and just...jumping. When was the last time you...jumped? Well, I don't really jump very often. I haven't read Gretchen Rubin's new book (Happier at Home), though I mean to, but I know that was one of her resolutions just from reading the synopsis. Today I tried it out a little. It made me happy. How can you feel down when you jump?
So I've been thinking about something. I've been reading Simplicity Parenting. I'm not very far into it yet. But I have been learning about stress and what it does to us. When kids are subjected to stress for a long period of time, all sorts of negative things happen. They suffer from more anxiety, perform more poorly on tests, and act out or behave more aggressively, showing less empathy overall. They also have less impulse control. They can even get a form of PTSD (I can't remember the clinical term in kids and I'm too lazy to go up to my room to get the book). All from being overscheduled and over hurried without time to think, play, unwind, and be a kid.
Which activities are a stress reliever, well filler, safety valve for you? Today, for me, it was taking time to relax with my kids at the park. We even stayed a little extra time, ate white bread smushed into various shapes that my three year-old had packed into a gallon ziploc bag with some juice boxes. (yet enjoying those free smells!) Blogging has been therapeutic for me too. What are yours?
What is a good stress reliever for your kids? How can you tell when they are not getting enough "kid" time? Do you have a hard time saying no like I do? It really seems to take such concerted effort!