Is It a Bad Thing to Want to Give Our Kids a Magical Childhood?

Last week, a blog post went viral about why parents should stop trying to give their kids a magical childhood. 

One of my friends shared it on her Facebook wall and yesterday a speaker at a sustainability conference even recommended it, saying that parents today spend too much time “on those things like Pinterest” and “working so hard to make their children’s live magical.”

“They’re just making their own lives harder,” she scoffed, “trying to make everything perfect.”

Then she said it’s because we mothers are addicted to stress.

Yes, it turns out we secretly like stress and so the quest to make childhood fun is some deep, psychological quest to make ourselves unhappy.

Or something like that.  I had a really hard time understanding the logic in any of it.

These people seem to completely miss the point about what makes a childhood magical, and why some of us make an effort to try to do it.

A magical childhood isn’t about elaborate homemade cakes or catalog-worthy decorating ideas.  It’s not about spending hours on Pinterest in some feverish quest to find enough fantastic things to do for our children.

It’s also not about doing things for and to our children.

It’s about doing things with our children.  And giving them a life where they can make their own magic, too.

A magical childhood is filled with things like stories, hugs, picnics for breakfast in the back yard, knock-knock jokes in lunch boxes, lazy Saturdays, I love you notes in sock drawers and a dozen kisses “just because.”

A magical childhood is about silliness and songs and spontaneity and at least occasional opportunities to make a glorious mess in the mud.

A magical childhood is filled with memories of little things that are big things to children — fireflies, campfires, snowball fights, shoulder rides, time with people who make them feel special and snuggling in bed with a big pile of wonderful library books.

A magical childhood is about being there with our kids on a regular basis and taking the time to talk to them, listen to them, and do something that makes them smile.

It can involve crafts and activities.  It can involve any number of things you can find on Pinterest (and for the record, why is it the new “in” thing to gang up on moms who craft or like Pinterest?).  It can also involve just getting out in nature together or shooting hoops at the park or sitting in the back yard and talking after supper.

Childhood is hard.  Adulthood is hard.  Life in general is hard.

We all need a little magic. 

Yes, kids can make their own magic.  They are very capable of turning our living rooms into giant forts, creating elaborate fantasy worlds in the bushes in the backyard, and enthusiastically jumping like crazy in giant puddles.

But the thing that those misguided people don’t realize is that when we work to make childhood magical, we benefit too.

We strengthen our connection with our kids.

We show our kids that we love them like crazy.

We strengthen them for the hard times they will face in life.

And….

We get to play and craft and splash and make messes again, too.

We add some joy to our own days.

We make parenthood magical too.

silly

I have parented these children through toddlerhood (five times!), surgeries, cancer, the deaths of friends and family, tween angst, teen depression, bullies and more.  Do you think I could have survived intact without working to make it magical for all of us?

There is a picture book that I read to my kids at bedtime sometimes that sums up a magical childhood to me.  It’s called My Mama Had a Dancing Heart and it’s about a little girl and her mother through the seasons spending time together cutting out paper snowflakes, playing in fall leaves, dancing in the rain and so on.

The last line is, “My mama had a dancing heart, and she shared that heart with me.”

That’s the kind of mom I have always tried to be.  And I frankly think it’s nonsense for anyone to suggest that’s a bad thing.

Those people can go on scoffing at those of us who strive to give our kids a magical childhood.

If that’s the worst thing they can say about me, I think I’m doing okay.  :)

dancing

 

 

About these ads

206 Comments

Filed under the big stuff

206 responses to “Is It a Bad Thing to Want to Give Our Kids a Magical Childhood?

  1. Amen, sister! I saw the same post and had the same reaction. Mind if link to you on my blog? You pretty much summed it up for many of us.

  2. Oh I loved that book! Also, if you haven’t read it already, “Touch Magic” is a book arguing for magic (mostly literary) in childhood. A great way to battle against these fallacy-filled ideas from parents who don’t seem to remember the magic of fingerprinting and glitter glue.

    THIS is the post that ought to go viral, and I’m gonna help toward that end.

  3. Beth

    Thank you, you’re my hero!

    • Right?? I mean geez, why don’t we just make kids work day jobs and have them attend seminars on the Death of Fun. Kids deserve a magical childhood just as adults benefit from revisiting theirs.

  4. I completely agree with you. It isn’t about the perfect party or the perfect craft. I think there are people out in the parenting world mistaking the definition of magical. A magical childhood to me is allowing them to enjoy the awe and wonder of the world around them. Yesterday, we played basketball together and then we went pine cone hunting at the park and brought home a bag full of pine cones. At the end of the day, all three told us they had a fun day. To me those are magical words. :D
    Keep on keeping on, sista!

  5. nancyjane311

    Well said! :)

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  6. Love this. You are not alone with your thoughts on this subject. Thank you.

  7. Yes, this! Thank you! I never liked the viral post and grumbled every time it showed up in my FB stream. I want my kids to have a magical childhood… because my husband and I genuinely enjoy spending time with them. Yes, they go off and play all the time by themselves. But, we craft together, talk together, explore together, go on walks together, and just BE together. And, that is magical!

  8. Loved this!! We’re going to be making a magical children’s garden this year with a sunflower fort, pole bean tunnel, pea & malabar spinach teepees. I think it’s a lot of work but I spend a lot of time in the garden so I really wanted to make it a place where they wanted to play :)
    more about it here–> http://littlemountainhaven.com/creating-a-magical-childrens-garden/

  9. Pingback: Childhood Ought to be Magical | Willow and Birch

  10. I agree with your version of a magical childhood – definitely what I hope I provided (and continue to provide) for my kids. Where people come unstuck (I think) is the definition of magical and maybe confusing it with perfection and never having a disappointed child- staying up to 4am to get the shade of icing “perfect” on a 3 year old’s birthday cake (I doubt they noticed) and as a result being crabby with the birthday child, spending money they really can’t afford on the “perfect” family skiing trip that their child wants because all their friends are going etc. The everyday is magical enough most of the time. Nothing wrong with an elaborate splurge some times mind you. I also think in their effort to make everything falsely perfect some parent deprive their kids of magical experiences ie buying them a shining new bike vs the satisfaction they might get from earning the money to buy a second hand bike themselves. Being genuine is part of being magical too. I don’t think it works to try to copy what looks and probably is magical for someone else. I often see great crafty ideas on blogs and think they look magical. But neither dd or myself are really the crafty types. Our shared magic comes from birding, reading, playing board games. Lots more I could say on this but time to go and make more magic with the kids.

  11. I am so glad you addressed this. When I saw the other one, my heart sank. It made me think of a conversation I had with my 10 year old just a month ago. He is one of those boys who is very smart, but also has a racing mind like his mom. Because of questions he had asked me, I knew he was doubting the existence of Santa Claus. Well, to make a long story short, I totally forgot to do my Tooth Fairy duty this last time around. When he mentioned she hadn’t come, without thinking I said, “Oh, shoot. I forgot!” His face fell. That night when he came home from school, he said, “Mom, tell me the truth. Is Santa Claus real?” I just couldn’t think of anymore ways to tell the story. After our talk, he sobbed and sobbed. He looked right at me and said, “But Mom, I just don’t feel like I have anything to look forward to now if there is no magic in the world.” My heart just broke for him. When reality can often be so tough, it is our duty as parents to be there for our children in ways that make for their own type of magic. Thank you for your writings, your thoughts and your time!

    • katherinejlegry

      Hi Teresa,
      I feel for you with your santa story… and it’s not too late to tell him that santa was a real person who gave treats and coal in their stockings in shoes left outside the doors by poor children and that coal was prized as it was a source of heat in bitter cold winter. It wasn’t actually for “bad” kids. Santa created “magic” by his generosity during very hard times. It was a surprise to the children. As the custom spread it also changed, passed on by generations, altered by different communities to create “magic” and remember all the children. It might not be the “myth” your son was attached to, but the real santa was actually better than the commercial one, so maybe theres a way to give him back the deeper magic of santa’s season.

      I really liked this article too. I feel kinship with the defenders of magical childhoods. Thanks to all involved.

  12. Loved this! I think you can substitute a lot of words for “magical” and any way you say it, the message is the same: have fun, love, and cherish your kids. Life’s too short to do otherwise!

  13. Jenny

    I totally agree with you. What is wrong with sprinkling their lives with a bit of magic and fairy dust. It is such a short time that they are kids. Before long they will be out in a world that is at times cold and harsh. I hope that when my little boy grows up and experiences that he will remember all the magical times we shared and know that there is warmth and love out there as well.

  14. Jenny

    By the way, I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the little magic that happened in my boy’s room recently that is if you are interested. Please let me know how I can share theme with you. Thanks

  15. KellyS

    I disagree. I think the viral post was right. But so are you. Because you are saying the same thing. I wonder if any of you actually READ the other post. She was concerned that we spend so much time trying to MAKE magic we miss BEING magic, and we miss letting them FIND magic. Without the stress and the pressure to make sure we don’t miss a moment to elf on the shelf, and easter bunny and leprachaun traps, and the perfect decorations, we don’t give anyone the space to fill with magic. When you put all the trappings on to give the appearance of magic, there’s always going to be a time to pull back the curtain and reveal the little man, when you take the time to be with and to let them be alone, you give them REAL magic, magic not faked and that can never be taken away.

    • Mae

      I actually just posted basically the exact same comment to her and attached a link to the original article…. they are both saying the same thing. The viral article was not for Pinterest crafts, but everything else was pretty much spot on with this lady.

    • Tracy

      I totally agree that both blogs are making the same point they just chose different words to get there. I have friends that spend all their time making sure everything is absolutely perfect. Kids birthday parties were like something out of a magazine. However, the children were 2. To top it off she was stressed ALL the time because she wouldn’t let anyone help her with anything. She spent the whole time at the party cleaning, cooking & doing dishes as soon as someone was done with them. She didn’t even sit to watch her kids open presents, because she had to make sure the gourmet food she cooked was served on the right platters and that all messes were tidied. So to make the point from the other article, it’s kids, throw on some burgers & dogs on paper plates (they can be themed ones if you have to) & sit down & watch the look on your children’s faces when they open their presents! Let them play with each one & enjoy them. I can’t think of too many things more magical than watching an excited 2 yr old play with a new toy! And isn’t that that what this article is saying too? Whether you spend days planning & hours decorating the “perfect Pinterest” cake, or run into the grocery store 30 mins before the party to buy a cake, kids won’t think you love them any more or less. The magic is in the memories you make eating the cake and cleaning the icing out of their hair, their hands, your walls, your carpet…:) Make Memories

  16. Diana

    Bravo! Well said. I hope when my son is grown he will describe his childhood as magical.

  17. Ya know, I have not read the post you have mentioned but I have noticed a similar vain of nihilistic writing aimed at anyone wanting to make life special for their families. Yes, I realize that glitter is not listed in the U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights but I do believe most would agree it does tend to make everything FABULOUS!

    Many mothers go on Pinterest and blogs they enjoy for inspiration and encouragement. I am not chasing perfection. I believe most mothers are not after the “perfect” anything. When it comes to motherhood, the world seems to be in short supply of anything positive for us. We have to take the support where we can get and give it. Resilience is one of our many superpowers.

    Life can be full of sharp teeth and pain. Knowing how to find the joy in the everyday can be very uplifting and empowering. I think gifting our kids with some choice coping skills beats out any mockery thrown our way. I really do not know why it seems to be en vogue to mock (or hate on) childhood and mothering right now. Learning to be positive and resilient is an underrated endeavor.

    I would rather show my kids it is better to dance when it rains than to tell them to suck it up and move on. When they get knocked down we can show them how to get up again and again and yet again. Life should not be just about surviving but rather, thriving. After all, the art of motherhood is to nurture our children so they thrive and flourish.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration all of these years. I am so glad you wrote this response. Let them mock our efforts as we take joy with our arms full of warm and happy hearts.

    Dance on Mamas!

  18. Amber

    I think if you re-read the original article, you’ll find you both agree that the magic of childhood is in the everyday simple things.

  19. sarajschmidt

    YES. :D

  20. elaine

    Thank you so well said couldnt agree more!!i hated that post on fb too they were probably children that went to boarding school and didnt have time with parents!!having fun with your children releases stress if you ask me!!:-)

  21. Well said! While kids can, and should, learn to entertain themselves, spending time with them – no matter what you’re doing together – makes magical memories that they’ll keep with them forever. It’s worth it!

  22. Reblogged this on I raise my kids and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more. I enjoy sharing a magical childhood with my kids almost as much as they do! I’ll never let anyone change my mind on that..

  23. Patricia Jesus

    I completely agree with you.
    Thanks!

  24. pinetree

    I read that post and I thought of this blog obviously, but I don’t think the author of that post was referring to this blog. I think you both are saying some of the same things – spend time with your children, get messy, let them fall down, be the best parent YOU can be. I love your blog, I think it captures the idea that parenting can be fun, a message that seems to be lost right now by many people.

    I think many people don’t know how to have a magical adulthood, so the notion of helping kids to create a magical childhood is foreign to them as well.

    Thank you for all you do to spread magic.

  25. lindsay

    Totally with you.

  26. Mae

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/im-done-making-my-kids-childhood-magical_b_5062838.html

    Did you even read the original article completely??

    I was one that shared the viral story this lady is referencing… however, I think you interpretted that article COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than what most of us did. You make valid points… In fact, I think they are right along with what the original article was trying to get across. The original story did not say to not spend time doing things with your kids…. I took out of it, that the simplicities in life and simply spending time together are magical in themselves. Too often we get blinded by things that cost money – designer kids clothes, dropping a fortune on over-the-top party themes, etc. I think she meant to start going back to the basics… Not to stop doing things with your children, but instead make mudpies with your kids, jump in rain puddles, teach them how to fish, play a game of pig in the driveway, etc… rather than spending a fortune on toys. The original article even referenced Friday night pizza nights…. I interpretted that as mom, dad, brother, sister all enjoy a fun night together of creating and making your own homeade pizza, then huddle together on the couch for a movie. Creating memories doing simple, inexpensive things… I don’t necessarily agree with her about nixing the craft projects. Maybe she chose the wrong choice of words when she said she is done making her kids childhood “magical”? I truly hope Madi has a magical childhood… but hope that she will realize that “magic” doesn’t require money. My parents weren’t loaded. They weren’t able to spoil us. I had a fraction of the stuff that Madi already has… and guess what?? I feel absolutly BLESSED by the type of childhood I had growing up. And already in my short time of being a mom, I realize that I have been sucked into the “new age” of over-spending. I look forward to going back to my roots with my daughter and getting to be a kid again myself. And I think if you really read the article, instead of just the subject, you would have seen that she was trying to make the exact same point that you are.

    • I agree with you to an extent. I felt the other article was promoting a hands-off approach to parenting. She talks about her mom shoving them out the door and not playing with them, (like that’s a good thing). True, she mentions Friday night pizza, but kids need more than being penciled in once a week.

      As a kid, my family had Saturday movie marathons, but though that was fun I remember the countless times I wanted my mom’s attention and didn’t get it. Mom, let’s play a game. Mom let’s go for a walk… I heard no so often that I knew I wasn’t a priority to her. As a result, I am there for my kids playing games, baking cookies, watergun fights, reading… Am I with them all the time? No. Do I try to give them their every desire? No. Do they know I love them and that they are important to me? Absolutely!

  27. Thank you for this. I read that other article and immediately felt bad about things I do with my children. I’m no supermom, and of all the things I pin on Pinterest I may do 1/10 of them with my kids. But I love doing things with them and being with them. As you said, it gives me just as much magic as it gives them. I used to be a teacher and I poured myself into my job because I loved it. It brought me so much joy. I feel like I owe my own children just as much, so while I don’t spend every waking minute trying to make things magical for them, I love seeing the joy on their faces when we do something together- whether it’s ordinary (having a picnic) or special (having an Elf on the Shelf). I love being a mom, and if the things that I do with my children helps to make their lives more magical, then I think I can live with that! :) Thanks again!!

  28. tcslibrary

    This is lovely. The best compliment my adult son ever gave me was that he didn’t know if he wanted to have kids because he could never replicate his own magical childhood. You’re right — it isn’t about fancy birthday parties and scheduled events. The complete opposite in fact. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed. Now everyone will read your rebuttal!

  29. Love the painted picture in the end, magical in itself! I love spending time with my children as well just as my parents did with me. I never thought of using Pinterest in the way you do. Thanks for the suggestion.

  30. “I have parented these children through toddlerhood (five times!), surgeries, cancer, the deaths of friends and family, tween angst, teen depression, bullies and more. Do you think I could have survived intact without working to make it magical for all of us?”

    Exactly! Life is going to really suck sometimes. Why shouldn’t parents do their best to give their kids the best childhood possible? Where’s the logic in “Life will suck anyway so contribute to that and don’t make your kid’s childhood a good one.”

  31. I also saw that post, I personally think that you are right as much as that other post was. There is nothing wrong in trying to give a magical childhood to your kids but there comes a point where they have to learn that not everything in life is so magical.
    It a little bit of magic but a little bit of darkness. I am not saying give your kids a trashy childhood but can’t give them a perfect one either.
    It is all about balance, they need a beautiful childhood but they also need to know what is out there and how to stand out by themselves

  32. As a mom – I love this post.
    As a former child – I love this post.

  33. Oh, this is beautiful. It really is about the time, isn’t it.

  34. “It’s about doing things WITH our children. And giving them a life where they can make their own magic, too.”

    This is so true. I totally agree. Well said.

  35. I read the article, and my take on it was that the author was deploring the excesses and extreme stress that parents have in order to give their kid the “perfect” birthday. Ultimately, the kids will be happy with some presents, their friends and your presence.

  36. It’s just important to make sure that when rh-you say “a magical childhood” it doesn’t actually mean “the childhood that I wish I’d had.” It’s not a kid’s job to live the life the parent wishes they’d lived.

  37. I love this. I agree so much. I’m a single mom that has raised 3 incredible kids on a very slim budget. The only thing I could give them was my time, support, encouragement, and love. We didn’t get to go on vacations. So, it was important to me to create magic where I could. We enjoyed nature, playing games, reading together, and decorating the house for holidays with crafts we made together (just to name a few). My oldest is now 21, a mom, and is in nursing school. My middle is 19 and restores houses for HUD and is a Youth Group leader, and my youngest is 12 and is a musician/actress/athlete. I firmly believe the magical time I have spent with my kids has given them a well-rounded foundation with memories of a good childhood. They always bring it up endearingly, and it makes me smile.

  38. Outstanding and whole heartedly agree. Parenthood is or should be mor about presence than presents. :)

  39. Children are our future. Happy contended children are more likely to turn out into happy & caring adults. It’s the same with kittens

  40. I didn’t see that blog post. I’m glad; it would have made me angry. I think of anything I’d want to add to what you’ve said, but you’ve said it so perfectly…thank you for this beautiful response.

  41. nice. Yes, we would be their favourite things if we didn’t screw that up.

  42. Very true and very well written!

  43. Jae

    *Bookmarked for future reference*

  44. troismommy

    I agree with your post. That being said, I didn’t read the original one about NOT making our kids’ childhoods magical. I have tried in the past to go out of my way for “the perfect birthday party” only to have a fellow parent dis me on how our party wasn’t as good as so-and-so’s. Parents can really do a number on each other.
    All we really need to do is love our kids and show them, whatever that means to you.

  45. I never got into the knd of magic you are talking about as a kid, but I used to pretend to see ghosts and that was magic to me. My family even believed me that I was seeing a ghost.
    dailyquizquestion.wordpress.com

  46. I personally feel that not only is there not enough magic in children’s lives, but too little in the life of the adult. There’s a misconception that growing up means losing that magic. Fantasy. Creativity. The wonders of the imagination.

    There is quite simply not enough magic in the world, and thank God for the crusaders who champion it.

  47. Such a beautiful post. And I completely agree with you: making childhood magical depends on small things that matter.

  48. This is very well said. I like it. I am of the camp that feels that Pinterest and the like gives the feeling of “trying-to-out-do” the next mom or dad or grandma as far as the next best thing…almost like the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses”. That is how I take the negative aspect of the “fabricated” magic.

    I do believe childhood can and should be magical. In whatever way works for each family. For my family, we wade through a creek where the bridge is out, and decide to get Dad some waterproof boots so he can do it next time, too. Or examine bugs. Or slop around in the retention area behind the house and make a muddy pile of laundry on the patio before re-entering the house. Painting. Reading. Science experiments. Snuggling. Whatever. :)

    Thanks for so thoughtfully sharing your insights.

  49. Reblogged this on dayspringacres and commented:
    Grandmothers and grandfathers can have a special place in making magical childhood. This author rightly insists that the magic comes NOT from doing things “for” the child. Rather the magic ids when we do things “WITH” the child. Turns out, that makes our own lives just as magical!

  50. December Jewel

    :D Awesome post! I have magical memories of drinking water from the garden hose and learning to ride bikes and being able to roller skate and was always surrounded by family…. great childhood with lots of fun!!!!

  51. cotyart

    There is nothing wrong with giving your children the childhood that involves being with them and doing things with them. Otherwise as an acquaintance one said while we were discussing parents who were more involved in their own lives than their children’s lives, “if you only take them out to parade them then they are nothing more than decorations”.

  52. There is no substitute for just being there. While my kids have their own memories of their “magical” moments, I remember them in my way. Just being lost in a game or the backyard or a road trip, doing ordinary things, but together, becomes our magic. Our family stories, some positive and some not so much, make up the fabric of our memories and there is magic in them all in my opinion. thanks for your post!

    Yours,
    Heidi Sloss
    http://www.themagicofmothering.com

  53. I think it’s unfair to leave it up to a child to enjoy. It puts a lot of pressure on them. They are human too and may not feel like constantly reacting favorably out of fear that they may make their mothers sad or less than perfect if they don’t. People everywhere— just stop trying so hard….

  54. Thank you!! Exactly how I feel about all those silly articles. You sound like a great mom!

  55. What I love about [my] kids is that all you really have to do is show them the canvas and they’ll paint. Put them in the dirt and they’ll excavate. Show them a Cherry tree and they’ll have a stockpile of magic stones or they’ll plant them, or even just taste them. Put in some books, and somehow you end up with a railroad track!

    Magic is funny like that.

  56. My most magical memories of growing up were from the times when my parents were honest with me, fully present, and open about loving me. It didn’t happen as much as it should have. I don’t see how their further efforts towards those goals could have impacted global ice-melt. But maybe I’m being a denier in some way.

  57. The magic is the best thing out there when it comes to a kid. I feel that doing things for children to have an awesome childhood is also bring back the magic for the parents as well. They get to remember all the fun times they had when they were kids too.

  58. Great post and generating excellent conversation. My childhhod was traumatic and filled with painful moments. It provides me the greatest pleasure to provide joy and happiness for my children. Life is indeed hard, so why not take advantage of all the available moments to laugh? My kids, like all others, will inherit the many problems in our world today, so let them enjoy life as much as possible now!

  59. This made me cry – yay for sticking up for us parents who strive for magic…and I wouldn’t have it any other way too. Love this post, hope you don’t mind if I share, it is an important message.

  60. One of the meaningful posts I have read in a long time. You are absolutely right. If it one thing a parent must do, it is spend more time.

    I am from India and it was natural for mothers to not work and they would spend all their time nurturing their children. I don’t think anyone found that to be magical.

    A lot of mothers this generation (in India) do go to work and they have outsourced a part of the motherhood to someone else. Whenever they get time to spend an entire day with their children (expectedly or unexpectedly), that becomes magical. :-)

  61. Well written and well said the same goes for relationships too I feel. Do things together :-)

  62. Beautiful! I totally agree.
    I’m not a parent but I had the kind of parents who tried! And that has made the biggest difference ever! Some people grow up never having strong bonds to their parents because their parents never tried-to make time and to make magic! I never had a perfect childhood but I had a good one and I have the strongest connection ever with my parents. They are my life. I would cross oceans for them. I would jump cliffs for them. Not everyone would do that. But I would. Because I love them and because they showed me they love me. They tried to make my life with them as beautiful as could be.

  63. Loved you view point, its upto parents what they want the kids to have.Having a magical childhood is somehting only parents can give, rest of all tough time life will show them.

  64. I work in Legoland where the fantasy is around the children. Here the children are creative and the parents talk to their children. Most of the time it is a great thing to watch. Children will grow up no matter what we do and it is nice to think that this time should be magical.

  65. Brilliantly articulated! We need more magic in all of our lives, not less. Anyone who tries to lessen the magic in children’s lives has a rather cynical view of life and is storing up trouble for themselves and their community in the future. Keep up your magic making, you’re doing a fantastic job! Thanks for sharing :D

  66. I thank you, YES!! From one crafting (even before Pinterest), dancing hearted momma to another: they’ve got it all wrong. Creating and living a magical childhood is the way to be!!

  67. Reblogged this on thelittlebittles and commented:
    The beautiful love and magic of childhood! x

  68. Tlove

    Amen! We parents need the magic too; because, many of us never got to be a child, and never got to play. Thank you for your posts…keep on keeping on!

  69. Its really a wonderful subject to be discussed but i disagree the point that parents should alone give their kids a magical childhood. Parents never fail to give their kids a magical,memorable childhood but nowadays its not that parents are not so busy running after their business and their overscheduled works, its just the opposite. Kids nowadays are so busy than their parents, its not that they are loaded with homework and examinations. Kids have lots in their to-do list like 1 hour for Facebook,1 hour for Twitter,1 hour for Gtalk,1 hour for Skype,1 hour for Whats App,1 hour for Instagram,1 hour for Youtube,1 hour for Phone Calls, 8 hours for schooling or colleging and the rest 8 hours for sleeping,eating and games. If kids need to have a magical childhood first they must get rid off all the external pleasures they give preference to and realize that no external party can give them permanent happiness and memories because they are all temporary and are just a self destructive platform for kids. I am also a kid who was into such craziness until i realized that if i wanted to have a Magical childhood then it must be I who should give my parents an oppurtunity to do the magic in my childhood. I hope the other kids too give their longing parents an opputunity to be a magician in their lifes… :)

    • I do agree. Kids are over-scheduled. Either by too much technology, or by the parents that believe they need to be a part of every team, learn every instrument. I’m not saying that technology isn’t good, heck, we love playing sonic with our kids occasionally. And of course, I encourage my kids to have an extra curricular activity, IF that’s what they want. But we as parents need to help these kids prioritize. They are still growing, and we’re here to guide them. Lets show them the path of the things that really matter. Time with us, time with each other, time to make the best memories ever. We’re kids only once, but adults forever.

      • Yeah yeah… i too agree with you. Parents have to play a role in teaching their kids to prioritize their daily tasks. Only when two hand come together we get a loud clap, likewise both the kids and parents together can only stimulate both a memorable childhood as well as a respectable parenthood. I do really feel proud of all fathers and mothers who are the living role models whom we children keep admiring each day of our life. :)

  70. I’ve read this with some sadness in that when we take the magical element out of life, you know that unexpected something that takes us back to the level of childhood…..being like them, we lessen what could be precious. We have currently 5 grandchildren and when one of them visited, her Grandma had some music playing on the iPod in the kitchen. My wife held out her arms to the incoming child and the two of them spent minutes just dancing round in the room; what happened on the next visit? It was the first thing Pra wanted to do when she got here…..to dance with Grandma. What were we doing? Just scattering some magical moments but the memories are there for decades to come.

  71. Reblogged this on yayusutiawati's Blog and commented:
    Nice picture..

  72. Reblogged this on The Mercurial Butterfly and commented:
    Though I’m not a mother yet, I love this response!

  73. drswapniel

    Really nice…and true to d core ! I’m gonna keep it in mind fr my baby girl ! :-)

  74. very aptly said…..its a beautifull post….

  75. Miz Lola

    I agree with you on so many levels. I wonder if the speaker you referenced has any children of her own. I bet she doesn’t… I am one of those Moms who try to make things magical. My daughter is 13 now, so you can guess that what I think is “magical” is not so magical in her eyes anymore. She is growing up. FAST. To all you Moms and Dads who find the time and take the time to do things with your kids, DO IT! Because, you are going to blink and those days will be gone…

  76. Each one of us was born with the innate ability to experience the world in wonder and awe, marvel at the magic and believe in the miracles that surround us. It is only as we grow older and experience disappointments in life, that this magic fades. The simplest of pleasures no longer hold the same power over us and our lives become jaded and dull. Life is here to be enjoyed and filled with happiness and the best way to ensure that is to always keep the magic with you. That is what we should pass on to our children.

  77. Reblogged this on Diary of an Angry Father. and commented:
    This is what parenting is all about.

  78. Completely agree! Well written!

  79. I want my kids to have a magical childhood, full of play, pretend, and love. However, I am not expecting to give them a perfect childhood where they get the best of every material thing they could want. They might get grocery store chocolate cakes for their birthdays instead of elaborate Pinterest-worthy homemade cakes, but that doesn’t mean their birthdays can’t be magical, filled with family, friends, fun, and love. I think there is a big distinction between magical and perfect. Life is full of disappointments and we don’t get what we want most of the time, so there is nothing harmful with adding a little fun and magic into the mix. Why not?

  80. What an amazing piece. It’s exactly why I choose to pull out the arts and craft bin, why I sit next to the tub as they splash in excitement, why I’ll sit on the sofa during snuggle under their favorite blanket time. It’s why I still give them piggie back rides and dance around the house playing their favorite songs. It’s why we’re storing snow in the basement freezer because they want Olaf in summertime. Honestly, regarding those scoffing at all us moms, I wonder what THEY remember most about their childhood. Was it sad or have they forgotten the glory of just being a kid? Someone, maybe a kid, should take them by the hand and show them what it’s like to soar down a slide again. it’s magical.

  81. You make an absolutely brilliant point. Some people confuse “magical” with Disney and make-believe. This doesn’t always have to be the case! You don’t have to present an unrealistic world to children to be magical. In fact, magic can be made very realistically and provide a fantastic learning experience for them. Magic is all around us in sunsets, sunrises, oceans, forests and even right at home. I love the point you make!

  82. May Sams

    I agree it’s the time together that matters. This totally goes with my post today so I’ve got to mention it: http://postpartumbipolar.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/say-yes-to-camping-say-yes-to-life/

  83. That’s really a beautiful and deep article! Thank you, I loved it!

  84. This is so true! It’s about reading books, turning screens off, having fun, falling over and getting back up again, being real, getting cranky, feeling on top of the world and loving a child for who they are.

  85. esmeralda0712

    I totally agree with you!!

  86. Agreed! I love this! We totally believe in magic in our house :)

  87. The best thing to do *for the children* is *being with the children* after all~ Because time given is very valuable. Creating a simple, heartwarming, and magical memories together is never wrong. And yes the parents get benefit too

    Parents do not waste their time for those efforts– losing ‘memories’ of what should they have ; they live on it and creating wonderful memories along with the children. Obviously that’s not a waste! And that’s not making lives harder — it’s what it supposed to be. :)

    #agreed

  88. I hadn’t read that post, but that seems like a really weird thing to say, even to me as a non-parent.

    Childhood should be about the magic and the joy. And I like that you mentioned how you get to share in that and have magic and wonder back in your life too. When I do decide to have kids, that is one thing I’m really looking forward to.

  89. Amazing!! Absolutely amazing! I don’t have my own, one day I hope I will, and I think that your spot on! That’s how my childhood was. My favorite thing to do was fish with my dad. Even when we caught nothing it was magical because he was there with me and wanted to be there with me.

  90. “Magic”: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

    …aka.. positive thoughts.

    When the little things become the big things. When something so small can become so fascinating. When the power of our imagination takes over and we see the world through rose-colored lenses. Childhood, and adulthood too, should be magical. It’s seeing only the positive, and believing that anything is possible.

  91. Ken

    That’s the way I remember my childhood. I loved your post and appreciate the reminder to look at time through the eyes of a child again.

  92. it could be when they get consumed with the magical upbringing and be unable to learn to be indipedant

  93. Yes! This is the real magic! And on a personal note, I cannot agree with you more on the magic that can be found in the great outdoors

  94. If there’s one thing though I wish was more magical in my lifetime, it was my childhood…most of the pain and negative emotions I carry with me to adulthood sprang from childhood.

  95. I love this post! I completely agree with everything said!

  96. Love it. So well said!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed

  97. I do it as much for myself as for my kids. Nothing is contrived, it would be meaningless otherwise. :)

  98. I think this is simply wonderful! My parents always made my childhood “magical” and I’ve never been upset for that. Wonderful post!! :)

  99. Reblogged this on nashleynajera's Blog and commented:
    I absolutely love this!

  100. After reading it (because with only the title I was like whaaat), I agree. I think the most important part of a child’s life is their imagination. This is backed up by many scientists, including Nikola Tesla (why imagination wakes up your inner genius) and Albert Einstein to name two very popular ones. I think that art is much needed (so why not the crafts?) because it is therapeutic and imaginative. Music allows ALL parts of the brain to work at once (we are talking left brain/right brain because of intervals-math- and emotion-creativity.) If you read about Steiner’s teaching method, The Waldorf Method, it teaches children to have plain dolls without faces (which sounds creepy) because they are supposed to imagine the dolls. For reading, they act out the parts and dress up according to what they hear. The children also learn through music. The Montessori method provides a more scientific approach but through their own self discovery. There should be more Waldorf schools (there are two in Florida).

  101. Alex

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This was beautiful and your kids are so very lucky to have you as their Mother. You are doing an amazing job and you inspire me to be a better Mother myself.

  102. truly beautiful. i sent the link to my mom for her birthday. we both cried. thank you for continuing the magic to others

  103. Excellent post! Re-blogging on dontlabelmykid
    TjP

  104. Reblogged this on Don't Label My Kid! and commented:
    Here is a great explanation on how to make a child’s world magical. It has nothing to do with going to Disney World every week. Well worth the read. DLMK

  105. I never see a post about the magical childhood and i can see its a very good idea ! It is great to speak about that.
    Good luck for the next :p

  106. It’s not a new thing to gang up on moms, who have historically done everything wrong. Same message, different words. Hang in there.

  107. Congratulation on being freshly pressed

  108. I love this! I completely agree, and thanks for the book reference. :)

  109. sunburst2014

    Reblogged this on sunburst2014 and commented:
    Mary Poppins knows best and creates happiness in children.

  110. mariamelk

    My childhood was not magical. I was simply MY childhood, created by my parents and siblings. It was the best. By being there for my children, doing activities with them I am forming a special relationship. I am hoping that my children will look back in time when they are adults themselves and remember how much we enjoyed ourselves.
    Why shouldn’t we let children live their childhood magically? They will grow up eventually and realise that life is not so magical. Let them live the magic they aren’t harming anyone

  111. Reblogged this on Utopian You and commented:
    Must read!! :)

  112. Reblogged this on Newborn Love and commented:
    I am glad you took to the time to answer that post. I heartily agree!! :-)

  113. I hope I will provide a magical childhood to my future kid, I truly think the simple things are the best in opposite to false perfection brought by shiny toys for instance. I totally agree with you and I am glad you addressed this.

  114. Yes, yes YES!! Amen, momma! You took my thoughts and wrote them as your own. I agree 100%. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this!

  115. Reblogged this on That Newborn Photographer and commented:
    This needs to be heard by everyone who read the previous post about not needing to make your children’s childhood magical. Because I call bs. Be a mother to your child (ren) they best way you can, in just the way that you are. LOVE your kids, and share your magical hearts with them♡

  116. I had a magical childhood as such and plan to give own children the best chance at having one too. It wasn’t about having the best of everything, but it was about having the experiences and love that made it feel the best :)

  117. Loved it completely :) Thank you

  118. Creative_Junkie_xXx

    I’m not a parent but I’ve had to be a sub-mother to my siblings. While we dont have it all what we have is everything I make sure we get together to talk about random topics to share our dreams and fears no matter how silly they are. You’re so right life is hard no matter how old you are. I love this post. Rock on!

  119. This is an amazing post! I’m with you 100%!

  120. Reblogged this on missjacklynblatz and commented:
    Every Mom should read this, Dads are welcomed too ♥♥

  121. So true! I’ve had several people tell us that if they could come back as anyone in life, they’d want to be our kids:) That tells me we’re doing something right as well:)

  122. What a great post! I had a magical childhood, filled with discovery, plenty of time playing outside, plenty of reading which led to the development of a vivid imagination…..

    I read a blog post recently which suggested that we shouldn’t celebrate the Easter Bunny or Santa/Father Christmas because it is tantamount to lying to children. But I think that is too brutal — I grew up with those things and they were definitely an important, special part of my magical childhood.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. :)

    • To each his own, but my husband was crushed when he learned it was all a big elaborate lie. We just taught our kids that those things are just for fun and not real.

      • I guess it depends on the individual. I can still remember the pure wonder I felt as a child when, for example, I wrote a note to the Easter Bunny and left it in the garden. And he replied! ;)

        I have a different viewpoint: I don’t think it’s a lie, I think that things like Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny help children to develop imagination and a sense of magic and wonder. I don’t even remember when I realized that they weren’t ‘real’ in a factual sense. They were real enough to me in my imagination. Parallels could be drawn with religion: there is nothing we can show people to definitively prove that God is real but we can feel the wonder and mystery of religious belief all the same.

        But you’re right: to each his/her own.

  123. yes. and for the boys. magic largely exists around putting yourself in dangerous situations, preferably over bodies of water or on the edges of sheer drops, less preferably up in trees or in a culvert with ice. mainly it’s like w/the government and parents can do a good job of not participating too much. but enough. enough is very important.

  124. Thanks for this Wonderful Blog Post! :-)

    My childhood was not so “Magical”….From the outside my family looked like the All American Family, but we never know what goes on behind closed doors. I endured childhood trauma and abuse, that the verbal went well into my teen and early 20’s. I have only 3 pieces of advice for parents. Listen and Believe some of what your children tell you, give them Unconditional Love, and give them YOUR TIME……That’s always what I wanted as a child and teen, but wasted many years not receiving it. Just once I would of loved to here my parents say, “We Are Proud Of You”.

    Things that happened in our family dynamic hurt us kids all in different ways. Alcohol abuse, Dabbling in drugs, and I? A gambling & alcohol addictions. Not excuses, just insight as to how our past can effect our future. After celebrating my 7th year in Recovery, Today,….Life Is Good! AMEN!
    Great insightful post! Thanks for sharing it.

    Hugs & Blessings,
    Author, Cat Lyon :-) :-)

  125. I had an amazing childhood, with wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. I think kids should, and need, to have that. I used to be in social work and the one thing that broke my heart the most is that many of those children will never experience the magical moments you talk about.

    I think you are doing it right!

  126. Hello from Australia. I would love to give your children something of mine that I gave to my daughter when she was young. If you go to my blog and search for ‘the gnome tree’ let them know that inside the tree is a gnomes’ ballroom and other mansions. But they never let us see them. http://suchled.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-gnome-tree/

  127. No – I wish every child could have a magical childhood – like is too short, we need to learn to be kind one to another!

  128. sikolakjengkol

    Reblogged this on kolak jengkol.

  129. garyhoadley

    Great blog. My children have all grown up. But, I will be a Granddad in a couple of weeks. So the magic begins all over again! Can not wait.

  130. This post brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad I discovered it on Freshly Pressed. What a beautiful paean to motherhood and childhood.

  131. Lovely ,being with our child ,growing with our child , is the best gift to give before they grow up.

  132. Your comments are so on target. Life is a gift and I do try to fill my children’s lives with as many magical moments as I can. It is all about being in the moment with your children and sharing laughter and love. You can never have too much or too many magical moments.

  133. Reblogged this on Indian Saffron.. by prenita dutt and commented:
    Childhood.. A magical time.. Keep it so. So beautifully put.. :)

  134. Reblogged this on expressionallyme and commented:
    For all my sister Moms! Let`s make magic together!!!

  135. Very well said!! I agree! Who doesn’t need a little magic or imagination, for that matter, in life.

  136. I did not enjoy childhood so I’m thrilled that I was able to give my daughter a magical one. She’s grown now and we laugh and reminisce about bike riding, Santa visits, endless picture-taking, car talks. She recently said that her friends liked coming to our house, although I had rules. I liked having them around and I think they knew it. Win/win. Magical for both of us! I didn’t read the original piece and can’t imagine not being on board with magical childhoods.

  137. df

    Beautifully said, I could not agree more.

  138. You said it so very brilliantly, it’s crystal clear. Our children, our gift to them are just these magical moments as much as as they being our very own gifts. Lovely said & am sharing it to my social magical carpet FB, cheers & good luck in collecting and spreading your own fairy dust, Meensi
    (Meensi.wordpress.com)

  139. Yup. What she said, right there.

  140. Yes, being truly present in our children’s life is the best present we can ever give. Living a meaningful life :)

  141. I just wrote a post about how much I love my mom. She gave me a magical childhood and it was the simple things like reading to us, play time outside, creating homemade birthday parties, etc. That’s the magic. I was very lucky.

  142. karenpeterson50

    Your post really touched my heart. I completely agree with you. By making the effort to bring magic and wonder and joy to our children’s daily lives through an appreciation for all that we have at our fingertips (new activities, crafts, stories, outdoor adventures… whatever we enjoy together) we help them to dream and aspire to new adventures of their own. I know that my journey as a mother has been one of great learning, and I have personally grown so much through our shared experiences. I don’t think that a magical childhood is the same as spoiling or coddling children. Part of the magic is helping them to know they can face challenges, struggle, work hard, and succeed because they have grown in confidence alongside the crazy, larger than life love their parents show for them. Life has so many struggles. Enjoying it enthusiastically together is a blessing… and so, so worth it.

  143. karenpeterson50

    Hi Alicia,
    I left a comment on this post late last night. This morning it has inspired a like-minded blog post of my own which I plan to post on Simpy Fun Families next week.
    I would really like to Reblog your post in favor of magical childhoods along with the post I have crafted of my own. Please let me know if you would prefer that I do NOT Reblog your post, and I will respect your wishes. You can contact me at info@simplyfunfamilies.com. (I am new to WordPress and this will be my first Reblog attempt, so I felt I should contact you first.)
    Otherwise, check out http://www.simplyfunfamilies.com to read more of my thoughts on the matter.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

  144. We all need magic…especially children. And showing our children the magic in our world helps to keep it alive for us too. There is so much pain, sorrow and unhappiness in these times, that it is our responsibility as human beings to also spread the wonder, the happiness, the mystery, the delight, the simple magic in our lives.

  145. karenpeterson50

    Reblogged this on Simply Fun Families and commented:
    “When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be a Power Ranger… and I’m Training!

    Here is a conversation I overheard my 4-year old son having with an older boy as we walked into an arena for leisure skating many years ago:
    5-year old : “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
    4-year old : “A Power Ranger”
    5-year old in disdain : “They aren’t real”
    Mama bear walking behind within earshot flounders in disbelief, not ready for her little superhero’s dreams to be squashed.
    Wise 4-year old replies with conviction : “Well, I’m gonna be one… And I’m training!”

    Oh this is a sweet, sweet memory of my son’s indomitable 4-year old spirit. It happened about a month after he took up taekwondo. He and his older sister had developed a great admiration for the Power Rangers after some relatives had introduced them to these new super heroes. While I had never given the martial arts a second thought to that point, my two children had become dazzled by Power Ranger adventures & techniques. That year it was action figures for birthday gifts, Power Ranger costumes for Halloween, and taekwondo class 4 times a week… the whole ball of wax!
    Really, what I love most about this memory is that my children had such an innocent and heartfelt belief that they could do ANYTHING… even become Power Rangers themselves. What’s more, I love that I was able to spend the time enjoying their joys and connecting with them in so many whimsical ways through activities, crafts, pretend play, outdoor adventures and simply sharing time day in and day out. Just being there.
    Simple stuff…. but I consider this an extraordinary, whimsical, some may even say magical everyday moment shared with my children.
    Please leave us a comment about a magical childhood moment that is near and dear to your heart. I would love to read it!
    You can read more about Magical Childhoods at this lovely website :

    http://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/

    Here’s to parents everywhere making magical childhoods a reality for their own families.

  146. Wow. I love this post. I sometimes think that people who speak so negatively about us because in some ways they want to cover for their own parenting mishaps and/or neglect. I have 3 beautifully happy children who because of that magic aren’t like kids who are talking, dressing and acting like adults in the 5th grade.
    They remind me everyday what it was like to be a kid. And I cherish and LOVE THAT everyday! Thanks for this post:~)

  147. justerjester

    Its been said already, but Amen Sister! Someone with some common sense, and a deep joy and love for their children.

  148. I totally agree with you. I wrote about this in a letter to my unborn child which you can read here http://tuffassassin.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/tatyana/ . I’m no where near being a parent but I definitely want to be there for my child. Not over or under involved, just enough so we can create our own magic.

  149. I just read the article you are referring to. It made me a bit sad. I understand her point about parents who go overboard trying to do everything they see on pinterest perfectly. I also understand that kids need unstructured time to just be kids, and parents need me time too. Yet, her article made it sound like kids are better off with hands-off parenting. That’s simply not true! I remember begging my mom for attention- play a game, go for a walk, go to the store- and when I heard no, again and again and again, feeling like I wasn’t a priority in her life.

    My view on a magical childhood is lots and lots and lots of little things- trips to the park, watergun fights with Mom, read-alouds, home made cookies, trying some things from pinterest, overnight camping trips, family hikes… Mostly cheap or free stuff, but the stuff memories are made of.

  150. Agree with you on this. Childhood (and parenthood) is definitely a time to be enjoyed and cherished. Lovely article :)

  151. I used to be one of those moms that wanted everything to be just perfect and magical for their kids. I would get so bent out of shape when things weren’t perfect. Now as my kids have gotten older, I have realized that they are having a magical childhood. I read them bedtime stories and sing to them every night. (Most of their friends don’t get that) I write them love notes in their lunch boxes. I help them make crafts and etc. They grow up so quickly and I want them to have great memories of love, compassion, joy, and happiness. Maybe once they become parents, they will do the same things for their children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s