Family Life: New Spaces (click to read)

Child in public places(1)

Where does a child belong? Where is his or her space? At school?  At home? In their room?

I’d like to think of children as belonging to a wider space, to things larger than their family, to contexts atypical of the one at home. To my surprise, when children are exposed to new environments their responses tend to be the same: they enjoy being elsewhere, they love noticing and experiencing new places. The need to wander, explore, touch and appropriate the new is in them. It’s inherent. It’s ingrained. But do we really and truly understand this need? Have you ever walked through the city and looked for a parking space for your child? The one that’s assigned for them. So that they do not disturb? So that they do not intrude?

Places and spaces have their purposes: some are just practical and comfortable, others do much more, they bring about perspective, tranquility and wisdom. Let’s allow children to be present in all of them.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Permission granted by The National Trust.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Permission granted by The National Trust.

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