By the time I was 21 I had two children and was pregnant with baby #3.
Yes, I work quickly.
I raised them with a fairly strong grip, I was in control, I would not allow them to grow up without a plethora of ideals that I found important.
However I also did not allow them to be kids as much as I should have.
When it came to playtime I was strict during those times as well, crayons had to be kept in good condition or I would throw them away and my worst offense was to not allow them to enjoy play doh like every child should.
Kids mix the colors, it's like water colors or finger paints. The colors get mixed... their are always play doh "crumbs" under the table and it's NOT the end of the world.
Now I have two toddlers that I get to start over with... I have two new souls that look at me to teach them how to play. How to integrate the small world they live in and "meld the colors together" for it all to make sense.
So I am more lax on them, I spend more time playing with crayons and play doh, I do more dress up and tell more jokes. I know that I need to teach them the same ideals as my older children have learned... but not when they are 4 years old, I've got some time to enjoy them before I teach the hard stuff.
Right now we are learning, how to share, how to use scissors without cutting your sisters hair and how to live through the books we read.
Oh.... and that mixing colors of play doh is just as magical... because even snowmen can be multi-colored with sparkles!
What about you? Do you have ways you wish you'd relaxed with your child or that your parents relaxed with you? What have you learned watching your kids play?