Friday, March 22, 2013

Epidemic of the Invisible Children

I sometimes feel like I need out. I need to escape suburbia and the materialism and the television. I love Target. I love quiet in my house when my kids are watching a show. Life is short though. What am I doing? Is it just a fantasy to move to a farm and give this way of life up? I don't want to look back and regret. That's all. We are doing the best we can......or are we?
A friend sent me this letter. I don't know its origin. I'll give more info if I receive any. paz.
Here's to dreaming......
SUBJECT: Epidemic of the Invisible Children
When my kids were toddlers, we lived in a town home right in the city. Every day we would go for a walk on the trails. We just wanted to get outdoors.

One day it stunned me that there were no children playing outside. <---- Dropping the pendulum from far point
Inside the homes I saw the flickering of television through the windows.
You knew children lived there because their toys were outside.
But you never saw the children.
I would talk to my friends who were moms and they would complain that they would park their kids in front of the TV so they could get something done.
I had to confess I did that too. I would turn on PBS Kids. My oldest son Dylan was obsessed with Buzz Lightyear. He watched Toy Story about 14 times.
I started to notice that my boys would only play games that they had SEEN ON TV.

Then something very interesting happened.

My husband got a special assignment in South Africa. We went on an extended leave and lived in Pretoria for 2 months.

There, my boys had no TV. They began using their imaginations again. They started using natural materials to build forts and castles. Their play was completely self directed.

In just two months, the change in my boys was profound. <------ Pendulum swung all the way across to opposite side

Then I remembered… I used to play that way, I had a great life of imagination and wonder.

My friend Kim and I would build fairy castles at the bases of trees - complete with tables, chairs, homes, using everything we could find: acorns, bark, cotton, flower petals and pine straw.

When I was 22 I went around the world sailing and working as a chef on yachts with my husband. We hit 40 different countries in 8 years.

Only later did I realize that those afternoons building fairy castles with Kim and given me the imagination it took to sail around the world, instead of… I don't know, getting an MBA.

And I was depriving my boys of all those gifts.
One video game at a time.

Dear parent, I truly know how hard it is to spin 900 plates and raise kids and pay the mortgage and all that. I get it.
But it's damaging your kids.

You can't undo that damage.

You can't rewind the hands of time.

Your kids are only young once.

I wanted to find a way out - out of the mechanized, computerized, artificial world. I wanted to give something back.

So I decided to create an event. We hold it at our farm once a month. Parents from all over the metro drive their kids out into the country, and as soon as they cross the threshold of our property they are in a different world.

For 2+ hours parents play with their kids petting llamas and bunnies, feeding the cows and chickens, and kids scampering down a nature path through the forest.
And Donald takes the kids on a special fishing trip at the pond with the kids, while I talk to moms and dads about the challenges of growing up natural children in plastic suburbia.

Everyone goes home closer to nature and closer to their children.

Our next Farm Family Getaway is on _____. I'd love you to come. It's free, all you have to do is sign up here. We do have limited space - only ___ people per outing are permitted. Beyond that number, we put you on a waiting list.

I've love to re-introduce you to the world God made that kids were intended to play in and grow up in. I can't wait to shake your hand and meet your sons and daughters.


You keep kids quiet in the car by handing them an iphone.

You put them in a coma with Disney DVD's.

I began to heal the rift by showing kids where their food comes from.


What life are you programming your child to live?

What tracks will they be stuck on as an adult that you laid this week? This month?

Are they going to roll down pre-made industrialized tracks, or are they going to blaze their own trails?

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