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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 14 July 2008
I went to camp last week. The camp was for 6-8 year olds.
And my heart just ached for some of these kids.

The little girl who didn't recognize 'the red thing' in a salad as a tomato. The 6 year old who couldn't tell me where she lived because she bounces so often and unpredictably between parents and homes. But most of all the very bright little guy whose conversations revolved around his favourite video game, which revolves around assassinations, apparently.

My first conversation with him involved his graphic description of the way he would choose to take out the camp and the bad guys who might come in by the lake. A suitcase bomb placed on the lifeguard stand, and he on the raft with his weapon and he could 'pick off' everyone. Another time he met me on the path, raised his finger and pointed at me, walking with my 3 year old, and said "I just executed you".

And I wanted so badly to hug him. I mean to hug him so hard the 7 year old child could come out. I wanted to wrap him in a playsilk. Children should be dreaming and playing, not plotting suicide missions.

This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about natural toys for children. About open ended, child-lead activities over screen time and consumerization. I believe in the value of my art and I am not ashamed to proselytize ~ for it is more than just marketing, it is claiming for children the rights of childhood that are so rarely protected and honoured. It matters to them and it should matter to us, too.

If you are looking for greener, gentler, more organic options for play and learning, please do check out the Natural Kids Street Team and if you have questions, please feel free to contact me, too!


woolies said...

hi - how sad.
So I wish I knew how to keep my two teenage boys more 'natural'. We try, but when they get older it's WAY WAY more of a challenge.

Unknown said...

I agree! Once they hit school, even , it has to get WAY harder!

FairiesNest said...

When I finished your post I wanted to cheer...and cry too. I raised 3 boys Still 1 in process :) and I can tell you fighting off the TV video world has never been harder. Thanks for a wonderful post!

Gray Eyed Scorpio said...

Gut-wrenching observations.
There's hope, though. When I got my first foodservice job and was sent to the walk-in fridge for peppers and other veggies, it took me forever because they weren't labeled (duh) and I couldn't identify them because my parents didn't eat produce beyond corn and green beans.
Now that I'm an adult, my family belongs to a CSA and eat an array of fresh, organically grown yummies!

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