By Heather Kestian
Our house is always loud. With two young boys who are very spirited, there is always something being built or destroyed, feet stomping through the house, or tests of human shrieking capacity.
I had a friend over who is the mom to girls. Her girls are wonderful creatures. They play cards and read books, play nicely with their dolls, and are quiet. It amazes me. I ask her how she does it. Her response, “they are just that way.”
About half way through her visit she said, “Is it always this loud? Do they always run around like this?” I chuckled to myself because I had not considered the noise and raucous behavior lately. I have two children who are each 100 percent boy. It is what it is.
I appreciate her perspective and it got me to thinking about childhood development. My boys have a ridiculous amount of energy and can hardly sit still for more than five minutes. Their minds wander at approximately 100 miles per hour. They have more questions than I can answer. They are in constant motion. Her girls are quiet and contemplative. They can sit for impressively long periods of time.
By no means am I saying that all boys and all girls are this way. However, I then started thinking about the classroom. Having visited my child’s classroom last year, I noticed a distinct difference between the girls and boys. When my child would come home and say “all the girls were on purple today,” and I think I finally understand why. Children are different, and I think that is okay.
We have adapted to our kids’ needs over time. We see the importance of releasing their energy. We have to get them out of the house on a daily basis. On rainy days, we wake up and formulate a plan for our survival. If we fail to release the energy, it is likely our entire house will explode. My current research suggests that these little people may be the equivalent of atomic bombs.
Both of our kids spend a lot of time outside. When they are outside, playing, running, or climbing, they are at peace. It is almost as if their minds and bodies finally have enough space to exist in a quiet state. My hope is that recess and Physical Education are never lost in the curriculum at school. I have no idea how my kids would ever survive a day of school without this important time to release their pent up energy. They are, after all, 100 percent thinking, jumping, laughing, running kids.