This I Believe

Ariel - Agoura Hills, California
Entered on October 26, 2006

When Do The Children Play?

I believe kids need time everyday just to be kids. This means more time to relax and be playful. It also means more spare time to make mistakes and learn from them.

There is too much pressure from adults and competition from peers to do well in school. But that’s not enough these days. I feel the pressure to participate in several different extracurricular activities, from karate to piano lessons, while at the same time maintaining an active social life. God forbid I shouldn’t be well-rounded enough to get into a UC school right out of high school! When I come home I want to unwind from a hard day at school and not have to deal with several more hours of homework and planned activities. I like to do my class work during class and not have to take school home with me. This way I can go home after school and learn other things the way kids like to do; discovering things spontaneously rather than when I am told to. It’s that free time when I am just being a kid when I am allowed to be bored and I have to entertain myself. It is also when I can push my imagination up to the sky and I can be at my most creative.

In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, the young character, Scout, loves to spend her free time outside playing and questioning the world around her. Sometimes she gets into trouble while she’s trying to figure out the answers. But, Scout’s dad, the very patient & wise attorney, Atticus, is there to guide her through her childhood mistakes so that when she grows up she will develop a higher set of morals and principles than the prejudiced and hypocritical adults she sees around her.

I believe that being a child means that I’ll have fun trying to break the rules sometimes, but I have also learned from these experiences. I believe that childhood is the time when kids have the chance to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. After I get into trouble my mother always tells me that childhood is the time to make my mistakes. She says, “It’s better to make your mistakes when you are young and don’t know any better then when you are an adult and the consequences are higher.” I believe that to get the chance to be a child means that my parents have to be adults – to guide and instruct me.

Therefore, I end this writing assignment titled, “When do the Children Play” so that I can go outside to play and learn. School is over for the week and I have another week-end to see what I may discover.