OK, not really. When I say “baby,” I’m referring to my youngest kiddo. And when I say “getting married,” I mean he’s pretending. For a time when Gus was in preschool, he would frequently include in his day his plans for marriage. Yes, he had outside time on the big toy, circle time in the classroom, and yet he still had time when he met with a wedding planner. He would tell me about his future brides. Yes, brides. It was usually a different lucky lady each time he would tell me about his plans. He even let me know that he was willing to take down any other suitors who stood in his way of future happiness. A friend of mine recently told me that her preschool son was involved in a similar situation at preschool, which led me to wonder, why do our preschoolers want to get married? With my experience in early childhood education and 16 years of parenting, I’ve come up with a list of why I think wedding bells are in our babies’ heads.
1. Role-play. One huge way that preschoolers learn is through role-play. Listening, negotiating, and compromising are challenging for 4- and 5-year-olds. Though children at this age are still egocentric, or unable to think beyond their own needs, working with others helps them develop an awareness of differences in people around them. These experiences in preschool provide a foundation for learning how to solve problems and communicate with peers. Play also helps build positive leadership qualities for children who are naturally inclined to direct but must learn how to control their impulses.* Simply said, if your child loves to role-play, CONGRATULATIONS! This is a great leadership quality and your kiddo knows how to communicate and problem solve! All things needed to learn and grow.
2. Your baby wants to get married because he sees what a great partnership you have with your significant other. You’ve built-in him a role model and leader that he strives to be. So, pat yourself on the back! Your marriage has had an effect on your baby that you should be proud of!
3. Your child wants to include all of his friends in this process, leading to the need to “marry” several different kids. When Gus first told me about his plans to marry a new girl each day, I was concerned that my sweet little boy was turning into a “player.” But after looking at the situation more carefully, he is concerned with involving all of his friends. This basically means, he doesn’t want anyone to feel left out. Especially once I found out that this is a common occurrence in his preschool classroom. Everyone was included in this game in some way or another.
The marrying game was such a passing phase in his early childhood years. Now that he is a big kindergartener, girls are still cute, but kissing and marrying is yucky. So, enjoy the lovey-dovey phase because the next time it comes around, it won’t be a game. But I’ll leave that to another post. My teenagers are just about there. *sigh*