GROW WITHOUT HURRY. By Ana Dias Ferreira
Growing fast. It's not the diapers, the teeth, maybe not the sleepless nights. The biggest challenge in raising a child these days is really time. What we went through with it and the way we lived it. Preferably unhurried, a contradiction in an increasingly frenetic world, where both parents work, there is more stress and often this stress is not filtered.
I remember that this was one of the ideas that most impressed me even before becoming a mother, and one of the works I most enjoyed publishing as editor of the Lifestyle section of Observador. In an interview with Ana Cristina Marques , researcher Catherine L'Ecuyer even used the expression “stressed small executives” to describe today's children. The image stands out because it is the antithesis of what childhood should be: we are, figuratively speaking, wearing our children's ties at a time when they should be freer.
In that same interview, the author of the books Educar na Curiosidade and Educar na Realidade defends a series of other ideas that have become a kind of my personal mantra, already as a mother: respecting the rhythm of childhood as an age of games, imagination, discovery and learning. Be careful with the tendency of exaggerated stimuli (read: too much technology) because they destroy curiosity, one of the most powerful tools of the little beings who grow up alongside us, and they shouldn't grow up hypnotized. Trusting our instincts as parents, despite the constant information overload. In a word: simplify, to which I add others: slow down, observe, listen, disconnect, wait, deep down, grow without haste.
If we are often tempted to say “it used to be”, it is worth continuing to quote the same author to underline that “it is important not to fall into the nostalgia of thinking that before it was better and that now everything is a disaster”. This is our time and we continue to be the ones who control (more or less) the environment lived in our home. That we can opt for toys with fewer buttons or even without batteries, for example, which can give parents more work than an iPad glued to their eyes – it is a fact – but they also motivate action and not passivity. That we can make a point of going out and seeing what's going on around us, without a screen in between. If that means being old-fashioned and slow in a world that is too fast-paced and technological, then it is because slowness has in fact become a quality, as advocated by the slow living movement, based on a healthier lifestyle and in communion with nature. My son is one year old and is in the phase of marveling at a simple pebble found on the ground. Far be it from me to kill this feeling that he is opening the world, through which we, parents, are born a little again. I just want him to always be this curious and leave his tie – if he ever wants to wear it – for much, much later.
Ana Dias Ferreira, Editora Lifestyle Observador