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Remember the Alamo

Nana’s take on forts. I agree. But still so annoying!!!



I totally “get” Jill’s lament about the whole fort situation at her house. Building material such as blankets, towels, what-have-you, dragged from closets, cabinets, drawers; additional items such as books pulled from bookshelves to use as stabilizers; plus stuffed animals, toys, etc. to equip the interior....clever, inventive; but in the end, when abandoned, a total mess. And with all the energy expended in creating the structure, kids concur there’s little strength left for cleaning up the disarray. Disciplinarians could of course ban this project. However, in my opinion it would be a shame and an error.

As a seasoned parent and former pre-school teacher I applaud these kid’s inventiveness. The benefits of creativity and pretend play are to be applauded. If you think of the construction process in developmental terms, what they’re learning is team playing, imagination, motivation, ingenuity and vision. What better attributes would you want for success in the world? So the idea and process is to be applauded. The aftermath is the problem. Were they to carefully refill the bookshelves, fold and stack the towels, blankets, etc and deliver them back to their rightful place, and return the toys and stuffed animals to their homes, all would be dandy. But kids are kids and.......

I am by no means condoning allowing kids to make a mess and take no responsibility for cleaning it up. They definitely need to be disciplined to take responsibility and to understand that parents aren’t housekeepers catering to their every need. However, a balance needs to be found between allowing kids to indulge in creative play and accounting for the consequences of their actions. We don’t want to break their spirit by demanding too many restrictions to block their inventiveness.

The frustration about so many hurdles like this are understandably exaggerated during this trying time. Being trapped inside for days on end presents the expected problems and issues. Finding activities to keep everyone occupied is a challenge. Living in the company of a limited number of people creates its own challenges. Nerves are on edge, patience is curtailed, and tolerance limited.

Luckily for everyone involved, things are beginning to show signs of opening up to a degree. Paired with this is the delightful weather we’ve been having, making it conducive for getting out there and being able to enjoy outdoor activities. So perhaps inside fort construction will take a backburner, for the time being at least. Jill can only hope.

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