Tuesday, 4 November 2008

New Article

My newest article was published on Essence of Life. It's called Letting Children Find Their Own Strength

It's about trusting children to know their own abilities.


  1. I agree that often the greatest obstacles to our childrens development are us,their parents, guardians or whoever. It is, of course, a natural instinct to keep our kids safe and protect them from danger but i feel that in this new 'modern' era we actually prevent our kids from growing more than ever. When i was young we used to go out and play, a group of kids together be it siblings, neighbours, peers or whatever. We'd go out, to the park, the river, riding bikes or just play ball, we didn't have mobile phones, most of us didn't have watches and as a result we often didn't have a 'set' time to be home. We'd all meet up somewhere - often even that wasn't arranged, we just had some kind of instinct that drew us together- and plan what we'd do from there. We were 'free' to do whatever we chose, having very few restrictions placed upon us it could've been that we ran round beind noisy, uncouth bad mannered little yobs but of course we didn't. We knew how we were expected to behave so we did, without thinking. We used to be hme for tea because our tummys told us it was that time. We didn't go onto the railway as it was dangerous. We stayed together and paced ourselves for the smallest 'tribe' members ability. Our instincts told us these things. Now however kids aren't allowed to just 'play out', they're terrified by tales of child abduction, murder, dire illnesses if they go out and a drop of rain hits them or they get a speck of dirt, any and everything that could possibly happen, no matter how unlikely, is used as a way of controlling kids and preventing them from naturally developing these basic skills and self protection. Now our overweight, junk fed, goggle eyed youngsters are parked in front of the t.v. just as soon as their eyes can focus until they develop the hand eye coordination needed to move on to computer games. They are never left to think for themselves. So many kids now have no imagination purely because they're never given chance to have 5 minutes to think for themselves. Then they get to 15 and are like a pack of wild dogs wiyh no idea how to behave as they never learnt those skills as little kids. I know we all fear for our kids safety to a degree, rightly so, but i think that all this 'the world is our backyard' thing has made us more worried than really needed. throughout time there have always, sadly, been people who've had evil intentions towards children, kids who've had accidents etc etc BUT the world has always had these people, it's just now that we hear about everything from all over the world instead of being restricted to just our own local news as used to be the case. The human race has survived for millenia without the need for electronic gadgetry and 24/7 supervision. We need to trust our kids to be sensible, like our parents did, limit the amount of time in front of the screen and use some of it for outdoor play, knock of the t.v. and read storiec instead sometimes instead. How can we complain about badly behaved kids running havoc when they weren't taught the rules when they were little?

    Sorry about the length of this, the subject just struck a chord with me.I love reading your articles,it makes me feel like there is someone ut there that thinks the same way i do sometimes. Thankyou for that.

  2. er, thanks hippymummy. :) *blush*

  3. It's a wonderful article!

    Regarding hippymummy's comments: I do feel that there are more dangers in modern life to little kids simply because as a society we have become so anti-kid. A pack of kids roaming around town is no longer just one of those parts of community life, it's something for adults to resent and be worried about and even try to control (by all members of the community, not even necessarily the parents.) We've also very much become a car-centered culture that is more dangerous for pedestrians in general. I would love for my kids to be able to roam the neighborhood, but no matter how careful *they* are, the drivers *aren't*. They go too freaking fast, everywhere. The kids are also short, and drivers aren't used to seeing short people out walking about by themselves.

    But it's such a huge loss. I'm glad that we live in the country with a large property where the kids can roam. My four-year-old is outside all the time without me knowing exactly where on the property she is... intuitively it feels perfectly safe to me. But most people who find out about this are horrified that I don't have my eye on my kids every minute of the day!

    I do want to make a comment also on the obesity charge, as it's a pet issue of mine. The effect of the emotional bias so many people have against fat and electronic media sets up a smokescreen in front of what to my mind are the real issues: that children have little freedom which results in unhealthy behaviors, that their parents are not there for them either because of work or disattachment parenting principles or just the selfishness that our culture encourages, and that children have to sit still all day in an artificial, controlling environment which is so contrary to their natural impulses and so damaging to their spirit that they use food and media in unhealthy ways. And by "unhealthy" I don't mean enjoying video games and carrying more adipose tissue than the current culture has deemed acceptable. I know scores of skinny kids who eat little but processed crap and sit in front of the tv in their free time completely zoned out. I also know fat kids who eat whole foods, get plenty of outdoor time, and are mentally active (as opposed to passive) in their use of electronic media. What does that mean? I think it means that our beliefs about where the danger actually lies are dead wrong.

  4. wow! we've sparked some really interesting comments :)
    I agree Linda; emotional dysfunction due to the breakdown of community and family is far more to blame than the symptoms of junk food and tv.

  5. Linda, i was in no way trying to say that obesity in kids is caused by only one factor and i apologise if that was the impression i gave. I did over generalise in my examples they were just the first things that came into my head. You are right in saying that the roads are more dangerous today, there was no where near the volume of traffic on the roads then than there is now. It's true also that many kids are 'abandoned' in front of the t.v. with no monitoring with regards to what they are watching. How many kids play on computer games that aren't age appropriate, either an older siblings or something they've accessed through the net? We have as a society become a far less child friendly and it breaks my heart to see all those poor kids who have learned that being bought 'stuff' and sitting in your bedroom staring at a screen (after sitting on your bum all day) is normal,acceptable and proper behaviour. I myself made the decision to move my kids to the countryside to find a healthier, happier, safer enviroment for them to grow up in. This wasn't an easy decision as i left all my family behind in doing so but i don't regret it for a second as the pro's far outnumber the cons.
    Just one other thing, i'm not 'anti fat' or anything like that, i myself am heavily overweight and know from experience that when you're feeding six kids the same diet three can be average weight, two underweight and the other have a problem with their weight. Please don't think that i was setting myself up on a pedastal as the perfect parent or font of all knowledge as i know i absolutely am not! Again, if my comments offended i apologise as that was the last thing i would want to do xXx


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)