Playground Politics

When my first two children were young I was a working mom trying to be “superwoman”. So I really didn’t spend too much hanging around at parks or meeting other women to chat about the phases our children were passing into.  In fact, it was pretty much of a blur to me.

But, when the economy tanked and I lost my job, I entered a whole new ballgame.

I had no idea, in my wildest dreams, that there were so many parenting philosophies.  And so, I guess I needed to choose one. But, which one?

After three children, I’ll run you over if you get in the way of me parenting my children.  They’re mine – They’re part of me and part of my husband and NO ONE knows them better than us.

But keeping it real, there are probably aspects to every parenting style that I would like to emulate to be a better parent.

I never did get too deep into a particular philosophy but instead looked for people that wanted their kids to be kids.

Perhaps, you are thinking to yourself, that’s what we all want.  But, Au contraire.

I’ll never forget the day I took my two eldest children to the park.  It was about 6 pm. and it was a summer evening.  The kids hadn’t had their bath yet and I was hoping to wipe out any last bit of energy they had that day.

As usual they ran to the park and tossed off their shoes to run on the playground.  We live in a nice area that is kept clean so there really is no “need” for shoes and I really didn’t think it was worth the effort to make them put on their shoes.

There was a little girl there who looked at my children and immediately wanted to throw off her shoes.  She asked her mom if she could.  The mom said no.  The little girl begged for a moment and I could see the mom glaring at me and in my mind almost waiting for me to perhaps lighten her load by asking my children to replace their shoes.

I did no such thing but I did pick up on the energy and tried to make a friendly comment “I’m sorry that my children are making this parenting moment a little difficult,” I said.

The woman casually shook it off and said “Oh, that’s no problem.  Different houses have different rules.” She paused.  “They might be crazy rules,” she continued, “but that’s ok”.

I smiled behind my sunglasses and paused almost laughing out loud.  I couldn’t believe that she could have the audacity to insult my parenting style based on the fact that my children took off their shoes. But so it goes….

My first thought was to defend myself and my children.  I pictured myself lecturing her to prove my point; wanting to tell her that the feet contain approximately 7,800 nerves and they are best stimulated by walking barefoot.  I wanted to continue and describe a study that was performed between 1957 and 1960, comparing people whose parents refused to allow them to walk barefoot to those whose parents encouraged it. If your interested, the results of a Barefoot Childhood were:

  • Fewer instances of deformed toes
  • Greater foot flexibility
  • Greater ability to spread the toes
  • Denser muscles on the bottom of the feet
  • Greater agility than those who had never gone barefoot
  • Better hip circumduction and more flexibility of the gluteal and hamstring muscles (demonstrated by a greater ability to touch their toes when their knees were held stiff). Adults who go barefoot experience the following benefits:
  • Naturally shaped feet, including straighter toes free of corns, hammer toes, bunions and calluses in the wrong places
  • Well-shaped legs resulting from a natural and balanced gait
  • A more natural motion, free of the weight brought on by shoes
  • Prevention of blisters, ingrown toenails and plantar warts

However, I chose to take the high road.  I kept the peace and I didn’t say anything but I am blogging about it 🙂

Live and Learn. We all do.

Thanks for reading.  Please pass this on to someone who means something to you.

About julia29

Hi. My name is Julia El-Haj. I am a Hall of Fame Athlete, an MBA, Professional Certified Marketer, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, a Specialist in Sports Nutrition and a licensed Real Estate agent. I gave up my "seat at the table" to be home with my 3 children because that's where I was needed most. I blog about everything with Wellness in mind.
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