Getting a pet seems to be a staple in American culture. Kind of a given as part of the American dream that includes the house and the white picket fence. A pet can be a loving companion for a child or a way for a slightly older kid to practice being responsible. But being around animals can be so much more for a child learning how to express themselves or how to function within society. 

      I went for a run the other day in the streets of South Tampa, the most beautiful neighborhood I had seen in a while since I am usually surrounded by nature. The houses looked straight out of a Hemingway novel. You could smell the salty ocean in the air. And everyone that passed by offered a gracious good morning. It was just picture perfect. I got lost in thought just enjoying my surroundings. Then, in the distance, something I considered unusual caught my eye.

     Parents are often tired and overwhelmed and this feeling often leads to the “No! Don’t get dirty response!”. Yes, spending those extra 30 minutes cleaning up an unnecessary mess can seem like an enormous and unwanted task that we will do anything in our power to avoid. Totally understandable! But once in a while, let them get dirty! Let them make a mess!

When I was a child, the saying “children should be seen and not heard” was commonly used to describe how children ought to behave. It was as though people were expected to mold their children into little superhumans devoid of feelings or emotions of any sort. This concept, while sounding extreme, sums up society quite well.

     Children are naturally curious and have a craving to learn things they see. Simple tasks that we do around the house becomes a source of intrigue and often children end up playing “house” sort of speak. But why not use this curiosity to teach them from a young age how to do daily activities that will assist them as grown-ups? Many young adults head off to college not knowing how to do their own laundry, make their bed or keep track of their finances. These are all activities that are common in the house hold. Yet, parents are usually so busy making it work that they prefer to do these activities themselves instead of soliciting the child’s help. But this is actually great and organic opportunities for children to learn various subjects that relate to daily living.

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ABOUT KAREN

Karen Matamoros is a coach helping parents create freedom in life, business and homeschooling while creating daily flow and cultivating their relationship with their children. She is also the founder of Project: KAring, an alternative education portal for kids focused on the body, mind, and soul. She created this community to make free form education easily accessible to every child, though a directory, forums and scholarships. A few years ago, she decided to sell her 6-figure business to start unschooling her two daughters on the road full time and has been traveling the world ever since.

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