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Leisurely Youth

Photograph: Neil Phillips

Leisurely Youth Leisurely Youth Leisurely Youth Leisurely Youth
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Leisurely Youth

For many children these days, growing up can feel more like a game of catch up. Increasing expectations for youngsters to achieve more at school, be the best at popular sports and hobbies or fit the latest media-moulded fashions can leave no space for expression of their true identity. So, this Slow Sunday take time to purposefully clear a path, rather than forge a route for their life.

What Grows Up Must Slow Down

According to the specialist in all things Slow, Carl Honoré - our society needs to take a more relaxed and more hands-off technique for raising and educating children. For this Slow Sunday Resurgence has put together a few suggestions making sure this day of rest adheres to this proposal...

Spread it out rather then cram it in - children’s spare time can end up seeming laborious rather than leisurely if the schedule is too rigid or full. Ask yourself whether they need to do so many out of school activities, family visits, trips to the shops, or sightseeing trips at weekends. Giving youngsters time to set their own agenda allows them to express their own interests.

Let them go wild - modern day living and demanding education is creating a generation of ‘battery children’. According to Natural England only 10% of today's seven- to 11-year-olds spend time playing in natural settings like woods and the countryside, compared to over 40% of their parents’ generation. ‘Free Range’ children have time to go will and enjoy the thrill of taking risks during play. Forest Schools are one of the many schemes around which allow youngsters to learn whilst playing outdoors.

From preformed to preferred - step away from off-the-shelf, ready-made electronic entertainment and try homemade amusements instead. Slow Media (music, song, and story-telling) can give a longer-lasting sense of satisfaction...and lets adults do the things they enjoyed before the digital age.

Slow yourself down - finally, remember that children are very good at sensing the mood of the adults around them. If brought up surrounded by family, teachers or other adult role models that constantly dash around frantically, it can give the impression that the grown-up world is a world of stress and anxiety with never enough time to keep ahead of the game. Instead, make sure that children know that work can be enjoyable and satisfying and possibly even easy!

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