Red, White and BOOM!

independence day child and dad

Happy 4th of July!

If you are pregnant, THIS is your time. Go to the fireworks this year! Enjoy a late night out under the stars.

If you have an infant or toddler, you may not like my blog this time around. Are you thinking about heading out to the fireworks? Of course, it is your call (you are the parent), but this 4th of July, it may be time to enjoy a quiet evening at home. Yes, really.

Seriously? Yes, I am being completely serious.

I love the 4th of July. It IS the definition of summer fun. There's picnics, family, swimming and, of course, fireworks.  Since the kiddo came along, I haven't seen many fireworks displays.

There's many things you get with parenthood. Sometimes, you may have to temporarily let go of things too, perhaps things you once really enjoyed. You have to learn to be patient. You have to wait for your child to grow into activities and outings that will be appropriate for them. For us, fireworks has been one of those things I've felt she hasn't quite been ready for.

Why am I being such a party pooper?

Well, first of all, my job is to write a blog about child development. My job is to share random ramblings and insights about things that may optimize your munchkin's growth. That is what we all dream of – the happy, healthy child.

So, before you go packing up the blanket and running out of the house with the munchkin in tow this 4th of July, consider a few things:

1) What is your child's reaction to loud sounds? Will the sound of fireworks frighten them? If you're still heading out, plan accordingly – think earplugs (or earmuffs) and also consider a location with some distance between you and the actual launch site of the fireworks. Want to learn more about hearing/hearing issues in young children? Check out:

2) Consider your child's sleep schedule. Are they out by 7pm or “rockin' and rollin'” till the wee hours? If early to bed, think about how they may feel being taken from bed in the middle of their night.  How will this disruption in sleep affect them that evening or the next day?

3) Fireworks may be beautiful to you, but scary as hell to your child. Remember, fireworks are a brand new experience.  The world is all new – too much, too soon can simply be overwhelming and frightening.

Of course, there are some kiddos who are so “go with the flow,” nothing may phase them and, as a parent, nothing may phase you. It may all be okay. It may all be appropriate for your child. However, if in doubt, consider some summer fun in your own backyard.  For us, there's been a tradition of putting the kiddo to bed and sitting out on our patio listening to the festivities around the neighborhood.

Development and doing what's best for your child is all about timing…here's hoping that you have the time of your life on the 4th!

Cheers and a happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend!


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Red, White and BOOM!

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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