Are They Grown, Or Not?

Mr. Fix-It and I have spent a lot of time talking about current events lately. Always dangerous! {smile} And about our munchkins growing up so fast and all the new things just over the horizon for our family…like public school and riding the bus and the Ladybug mentioning that she wants a TV in her own room. (Um…no.) Something that has long been on my mind because of my other job (the full-time, in an office, get a paycheck, one) and now is on his mind too, is the almost schizophrenic American culture of childhood safety and risk assessment.

Um...look how grown she suddenly is now that she's 10?!

For example…

We don’t think it’s safe for our children to walk to school because someone could snatch them up on the street. BUT…we’ll take them to the crowded mall and drop them off for hours unsupervised with their friends to go shopping.

OR…

We’ll prosecute parents for leaving their child in a safely locked car for 5 minutes to run in the store (I’m NOT talking about a locked car on a summer day for hours!) but we think nothing of sending that 5,6, or 7 year old to a sleepover at a complete stranger’s house for a birthday party just because they’re a classmate.

ladybug 1

And the lack of consistency only grows as they get older!

We consider them mature enough to have their own cell phone, their own computer, and their own TV in their own room–usually by middle school!–but they’re not mature enough to actually have a job to pay for any of those things. If they have to work for them, we’re robbing them of their childhood and childhood is supposed to be carefree.

We consider them mature enough to drive a car, but we don’t consider them mature enough to actually save up and BUY a car before they get a license. Or we don’t want them to have a job to pay for their own car, insurance, gas, blue jeans, cell phone…you name it, because that would detract from their focus on their school work, which is “their job.” Then we send them to college and expect them to know how to manage all of the above, all at the same time, in a strange place, without any supervision!

ladybug 2

We know they can’t handle alcohol until 21, but we think at 16 they can handle the responsibility of a car and a cell phone together–and clearly they can’t. We think they are too young for the commitment of marriage at 18 or 24 or even until 30 these days–but we don’t have a problem with them getting into intense, exclusive relationships starting as early as 12 and 14 years old.

Basically, our culture wants to give children adult privileges, but not adult responsibilities. We call them adults when it suits us, and children when something bad happens to them.

ladybug 4

I don’t think this post has any great answers or bullet points to share…just thoughts.

We have to be thinking Christians. Thinking parents. We can’t go with the flow and accept “what everyone else is doing” as the right answer. We must be intentional in our days, our moments, our rules and boundaries, our expectations. We have to have purpose in the job we’ve been given.

We have to worry less about protecting our children’s childhood and more about using their childhood to prepare them for adulthood.

Remember your childhood? The best parts about it weren’t the things you got, or the places you went..the best parts were the times when you felt secure enough to enjoy what you already had and where you already were. We need to give our children the freedom to explore the world WITH the security that comes from knowing that someone else is maintaining the boundary fence. Someone else is walking the wall. Someone else is keeping track of the map and compass, until they are ready.The security that comes from knowing, deep down in their hearts and minds, deep in the dark quiet places they don’t share with anyone, that there’s someone who won’t quit on them. That won’t get tired and won’t give up. Someone that won’t throw them to the wolves, or keep them in chains.

Someone that will teach them, will equip them, and then let them go…standing in place to guard their backs as they head out.

And that someone must be us.

Do you have any thoughts in this direction?

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Sailboats, Birthdays, and Blue Chairs..the Daily Farm Adventures {63}

sailboat regatta 1

Usually the Daily Farm Adventures are filled with…well…farm adventures. {smile} But this weekend our days were filled with sailboats and shopping for the Ladybug’s birthday. She turns 10 today, ya know. And she celebrated in grand style by winning the church’s first Sailboat Regatta! The kiddos and Mr. Fix-It have been working on their first sailboats for a week now. They sanded, and sanded, and sanded, and sanded some more, and then painted. This was the first time they used spray paint. There were a few runs, but mostly on the curved bottom, so you don’t notice. The Ladybug went … Continue Reading…

Thoughts of the End of Summer…the Daily Farm Adventures {62}

summer laundry

I came across this quote on Pinterest the other day and just loved it… I’m still struggling a little with keeping my camera in hand this year. But I find that my eye is still…trained?…prepped?…to see things that I would have missed before. I find that this farm life has shown me to appreciate things I wouldn’t have thought to like before. To see with new eyes. To be inspired by things I would have completely passed by. Like buzzards… I always associated them with death before, and that is hard. But I’ve learned that on the farm, sometimes they … Continue Reading…

The Crazy, Snuggling Chicken…the Daily Farm Adventures {61}

crazy chicken 4

We had some predator problems at the duck pen (which doesn’t have any ducks in it right now, but old habits die hard!) a few weeks ago. Our youngest batch of layers is in there at the moment, and something unfriendly joined them over a three night period. We lost several. About a day later, I came home from work and was greeted in the driveway by the news that there was a chicken on the porch. Now this is generally not news {sigh}, I have worn out many a broom trying to train those pesky free-ranging chickens to stay off the … Continue Reading…

Wild Turkey Nursery…the Daily Farm Adventures {60}

young turkeys 1

W have a lot of wild turkey in our area, and managing our field and wood edges carefully encourages them to stick around. We have a local flock that raises two batches of poults a year on the farm. You’ll see a couple hens out there with a passel of babies wandering through the tall grass every morning and evening. The fences and equipment don’t make them nervous. The sheep don’t make them nervous. The cows don’t bother them. The chickens don’t bother them. They just come and go as they feel like it. They haven’t quite wandered up to … Continue Reading…

Modesty is for Boys Too

Modesty is for boys too...we ALL need to be honoring the Lord with our clothing choices. {via www.walkinginhighcotton.net}

I talked last week about the modesty guidelines we use with our Ladybug for dressing like a girl after God’s heart and it was our most popular post for the whole month.  I know everyone loves to write about the heart issue when it comes to this topic and debate scripture, but if we step aside from that for a moment there’s a practical side too. When you want to do the right thing, what does that look like? I shared our daughter’s specific, concrete, take-this-list-shopping guidance to give you a jumping off point to evaluate what works for your family. Believe me, clear … Continue Reading…

5 Basic Chicken Supplies…the Daily Farm Adventures {59}

The 5 Basic Chicken Supplies we use every day. {via www.walkinginhighcotton.net}

We got a lot of rain this weekend. Apparently we needed it, because several hours of rain didn’t even leave us with much mud. It all soaked right in. Most of the animals are pretty self-sufficient right now, since the grass has finally come in strong. We just keep an eye on them and keep the water buckets filled. The chickens take up the most of chore time right now. We have several pens of several different age-groups scattered around the fields. Most of chore time is spent in walking from one side of the farm to the other. Raising … Continue Reading…