Every parent has a set of ideals of how their child will grow up. Usually these ideals are based on either the child experiencing the same joys that shaped the parents own childhood. Or avoiding unpleasant experiences that the parent does not wish to be repeated. Thankfully for Jamie and I we only have positive experiences of our own childhood on which to base our discussions on how we would like Jake to grow up. Below are a few of the specific experiences we would like our son to have:
1) playing outdoors – Both Jamie and I grew up on streets where all the children who lived in the area would play outside together every night in the summer. We are both aware that this doesn’t seam to happen so much anymore, the roads are a lot busier and people are a lot more cautious about letting their children play in public areas without the supervision of an adult present. We are therefore both aware that a certain level of freedom for the chid is lost. We want to do our best to allow Jake as much freedom as possible to play and explore the world.
2) Participating in sports – Jamie and I both played sports throughout our childhoods and I strongly feel that these experiences helped install in both of us a sense of living a healthy lifestyle. Jamie is a football man and used to swim competitively. Ultimately I don’t mind what sport Jake chooses to take part as long as its something he enjoys. I say this with the caveat that I do believe it is very important for children to learn to swim, so some degree of swimming regularly / swimming lessons will be mandatory.
3) Having a close family – Family is extremely important to both of us. I want Jake to grow up having a close bond to everyone in our immediate family, I want his cousins to be some of his best friends. One of the saddest thoughts I have on Jakes future is that he will not know my mum as she passed away last year.
4) Reading – I am a great lover of books and always have been since childhood. I think a joy of books is created in the early years and really does have a positive influence on success in school ect we’ve tried to get into the habit of reading to Jake before bed, but this just tends to get him excited as he always tries to eat the pages!
5) Having and imagination – Much of my childhood was spent playing imaginary games either on my own or with my sister. We created elaborate fantasy worlds and could spend hours playing together in our room. Many of the children I know today seam to have lost the ability to make believe which is something I find very sad, I’m not sure what the reason for this is, but I think a contributing factor may be the easy access to so many toys where imagination is not required – back in the day we only had simple toys so were forced to make them interesting ourselves.
Ultimately I want Jake to grow up happy and healthy with only fond memories of his childhood I suppose we’ll find out along the way if this is by trying to recreate positive experiences from our own childhood or trying to find new things that fit in with the “modern” world.