Sunday, November 26, 2006

Free Range Children

Organic goat's milk, hormone free meat, flax seed bread, daily multi-vitamins, free range chicken.......we do the best for our children when it comes to nutrition, but do we encourage and allow time for them to commune with nature? To be free range children? Recently, I've been thinking about this; I have a son who is happiest at home and left to explore the out-of-doors. He will come in with turtle eggs, clam shells, various bones, mushrooms, lichens, sticks that "look like something", and lots of stories. Stories about animal tracks, bird calls, screeches in the woods that "freaked" him out, holes in the earth that weren't there yesterday, cloud formations and so many more. He eagerly grabs his siblings and takes them out to see all these awesome finds. Putting on town clothes, riding in a van for at least 30 minutes and trekking through numerous stores is not his idea of a good day. Rather it elevates him, makes him irritable, difficult to work with. As a matter of fact, all my children love the outdoors. When a day is particularly difficult we take a trek to the mailbox or go for a walk around the marsh or if I need time to get something done, I send them out to swing or play on the sandpile. They come in refreshed and ready to tackle the next school task or chore. Children need time to explore nature, to learn how it works and to discover God's amazing design. I've learned that kids need time outside to just be kids. Even on vacation we make sure to get plenty of time outdoors noticing new landforms, interesting patterns in rocks and more. I encourage all parents to schedule time into everyday to get outside and take the kids with. A breath of fresh air is like renewing yourself with the serenity of the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! What a blessing it is to live in a place that allows the children this healthy freedom to explore the world around them!


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