I’ll tell you what I think of play pens. They will keep your kids from getting kicked in the jaw during your Tae Kwon Do class but is there more than?
I don’t think so. I practiced my Martial Art at a school every morning at 10am and he needed to be held back a bit.
Once he got that look that he was going to hop out and kick my butt for keeping him in there, he got to come out. He did get hit maybe once or twice (never too hard) because you are also more aware of your child’s presence when you are required to be aware of their location and well being.
There are animal rights groups that are against crating your cats and dogs in the house. I don’t want a dog who gets out of a crate ever morning and tears through my house looking for something ‘new’ to destroy the moment I avert my eyes and I sure don’t want a kid who gets out of a play pen and does the same.
When I was a kid, we barely had car restraint systems. We could climb out of a crib or a high chair with the dexterity of a kangaroo at the kiddie play area at the local mall. There is no reason to hold the child still because they have a tendency to learn better if they are out and exploring in their environment. Children are meant to get out and explore all of their world. How else can they learn. Their parents get to touch everything? Why can’t they do they same within reason?
How many toys can you put into a playpen to keep a child interested? I say as few toys as possible.
I see some folks get to the park with the playpen in tow and a soccer ball bag full of toys!!!!! WTF????
Leave that behemoth at home, put on your shorts and running shoes and chase the children. That is why God gave them legs… to run their parents insane heading for the curb with traffic whizzing by at 40 mph.
I am sure that every parent remembers “that one time… when I had to smack little Jimmy on his bottom as I caught him from running out onto the expressway”…. let’s keep those learning moments for both children kept safe by their parents and parents safe in the knowledge that they can continue teaching from the heart and not from convenience.
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