Friday, 17 August 2012

Playing In The Rain

I  watched the rain bounce of my window while my children put on their wellies. I felt gloomy about having to venture to the shops. The rain had come down fairly heavy earlier and there were some quite big puddles en route. I watched my two children jump around in the puddles, spinning around to catch the rain. Macey turned to me grinning from ear to ear. Mammy this is the greatest day ever. Both their faces were beaming. They looked so happy and here I was rushing to get home. I couldn't bear to spoil the fun so I dropped my shopping off at home and took them back out to play.

Splashing in puddles
 It got me thinking. Why do we have such a negative attitude towards the rain? We always use phrases such as I think there is a huge rain cloud hanging above my head to show we are having a bad day. Nursery Rhymes such as rain rain go away are sang to show dislike to the rain. Literature uses rain to depict sorrow and madness. Our adventure in the rain was the stark opposite. I for one will never forget the raw emotion of happiness on my daughters face when she told me it was the greatest day ever and my little boys beaming smiles as he played. It really touched me. I no longer felt gloomy. For the first time I was soaked through (my children were better dressed for the occasion then I) and was having a fabulous time.

Catching the rain

 So why are we afraid of our children getting rained on?
As long as I can remember adults have always told me to get out of the rain before I catch cold. As a parent all I want to do is protect my children and I am guilty of doing this and feel quite idiotic. Even though I have never thought the rain will make me ill in my adult life. I have automatically responded to rain as something to avoid.
There are lots of people who do believe the rain will make their children ill and I would like to point out that this is not true. The common cold is spread through direct exposure to the virus. People usually get sick more when the weather is lousy because they stay indoors more, and indoors is where infectious diseases spread more easily. On a fine day everybody goes outdoors, where there is more space, better ventilation, and less close contact with other people.
In protecting our children from something that is pretty much harmless we are preventing them from valuable experiences and  teaching them to have a negative approach to life. In a society were 2 in 3 adults will experience depression at some point in their lives maybe we should be trying to look at experiences we find uncomfortable in a more positive manner.


'I can hear the rain go pitter patter on my umbrella'

Benefits Of Playing In The Rain
There is something about the rain that is soothing. The pitter patter sound of raindrops is often used for relaxation and a walk in the rain can be a great way to relieve stress and anxieties. It could be a great bonding experience and a opportunity to explore nature and to teach your children about the environment. Most importantly it is great for character development.  Playing outdoors encourages children to be adventurous, independent and more able to asses risks. Playing in the rain is part of this experience.  It will allow children to explore new senses.  There are new smells in the air, the ground feels different beneath their feet. There are puddles to splash in. Mud to squelch in. The feeling and the sound of the rain.  This much stimulation makes  the experience feel magical.

Exploring the mud!

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