Slow Down, and Just Be a Kid

By: Jan Lashbrook
Do you ever look at your child(ren) and think to yourself, “Wow, they’re growing up too fast!” On top of the years going by quickly, there is also societal pressure for kids to grow up faster, which is leading to a more stressed out generation of children. CCA’s Early Childhood Director, Jan Lashbrook, shares a simple antidote for hurried children and how this solution can also benefit you as a parent.

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I love books. I have so many books that I can’t fit them all into our bookshelves. I obviously need another bookshelf, but we have no room left!

I can’t part with my books, so I have little stacks of books here and there; in every room of the house. It drives my husband crazy, but he puts up with it, because he knows my philosophy is that one cannot have too many books – especially books for and/or about children. 

Looking for some summer reading, one of the books I pulled off my shelf to read again is called “The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon” by David Elkind. Although it was written in 1987, it could very well have been written in 2023, because the issue of children being hurried by society to grow up too soon is still prevalent and even more dangerous for our kids today.  

Elkind shares that the pressures to cope, succeed, and win are very real for our children. From every corner of society, children are expected to do more and do it earlier than previous generations. He writes that hurried children are stressed children – stressed by the fear of failure: not achieving fast enough or high enough. But growing up takes time, and children’s developmental growth cannot be hurried. 

Each of the ages and stages that a young child goes through prepares them for the next stage, and if that process is rushed, important achievements and milestones could be skipped or bypassed, which can give rise to problems later.

The antidote for hurried children is simple: play. Biologist Karl Goos called children’s play a “preparation for life.” 
The antidote for hurried children is simple: play.
At Calvary Christian Academy (CCA), we aim to expose our preschool and pre-kindergarten children to as many opportunities for play as possible. Play and pretending is a great way to develop children's imagination and social skills. 

Elkind states, “Children work better, learn better, and grow better when academic learning is alternated with opportunities for self-expression through play.” 

That is why we developed a STEM program in Pre-K and have our youngest Eaglets participate in music, dance, drama, P.E., science experiments, technology, engineering, and robotics. They are learning through play and expressing their creativity in those areas of interest to them. 
Play and pretending is a great way to develop children's imagination and social skills.
As we enjoy what’s left of summer, I hope you have time for some serious play – not only for your children, but for yourselves! 

It’s always a challenge for us busy parents, but if you can, take some time to be a kid yourself and play with your kids. Allow them to be bored and have to use their imaginations to think up something fun to do. Encourage them to create something out of whatever is around the house. Allow them to slow down and just be a kid. 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  —Matthew 11:28-30

Did you know?
CCA is launching a new Pre-K2–Pre-K4 preschool in Boynton Beach, Fla. August 2023! Spaces are still available for the 2023-24 school year. Visit to learn more and inquire today. 
Jan Lashbrook is the director of Calvary Christian Academy’s Early Childhood program, overseeing our Pre-K and Preschool programs. Jan holds a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Liberty University. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest, Shawn, attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2012.
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