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Puddle jumping, mudpies, floor food, nudity, free range kids...

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

So about the cotton wool generation??

We live in the country. When it rains, we go out in it. DS (17mo) slashes in puddles, digs in the mud and runs around. If its hot when it rains he gets nude. Or wanders down the street in a nappy splashing in the gutter. And every arvo once the sun loses its sting he gets nude and runs around in the garden.

He sometimes finds food he has thrown on the floor and eats it.

He drinks bathwater with pee in it sometimes too. (I figure some health nuts drink pee as a remedy so it can't be all bad).

Sure we wash hands before meals, I cook on clean surfaces, and the house is pretty clean though not always tidy. I also try to teach him to respect other peoples spaces so he is not the terror kid that destroys other peoples houses. Not always an easy feat. But generally I sometimes wonder if he is the only free range kid left.

 

Germaphobia is rife. What is the worst that could happen. Seriously? I mean we don't have cholera or typhoid here and I remember floating leaves down the gutter when it rained and I grew up in the city!!

I'm so done with people saying NO YUCKY to my son!! Yeah some stuff is NO YUCKY like cigarette butts or trash but what about clean dirt? The kind boys seem to love being covered in? And why is nudity so bad? As a kid we nuded up at the beach until prob about 5 or 6yrs old. Why do I get funny looks if my 1 yr old gets nude in the lake? Is it paedoephilia-phobia? And do people really still believe that kids should be seen and not heard? I read an article on recently about how the world was moving towards less child friendly spaces and I can totally feel that. Its like the world expects kids to look and act like mini grown ups but also to be coddled and clean.

 

Ok rant over.

 

post #2 of 31

Sounds like a perfectly happy childhood to me :) (that would be a cool photo blog or a 365 project)

You know what works best for your child :)

Have you seen documentary Babies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vupEpNjCuY  ?

Imagine these mothers and what went through their mind when they watched other babies' footage. :)

 

 I wish my 14 month-old had more free-range play in some clean dirt, but, unfortunately, where we live it's far from it. She loves being in nature, and I adore the way she observes leaves, grass, insects - it is just amazing. It's sad that we are only ones outside in the grass area (or even the kid's playground) now that it's winter time. Everyone else is inside, in a stuffy playroom.

 

:)

post #3 of 31

Babies is a great documentary! :) After watching toddlers drink out of mud puddles, I felt much better about my DS eating floor food and dirt.

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 


I've had two false starts on a 365 photo project. I'd like to get an polaroid camera and do it with that. I'll have to check out the Babies doco when I don't have a bub sleeping next to me. 

 

I used to nanny in Alberta Canada and the mum was really strict about the kids having outside time every day except in the most extreme blizzards. I really learned from that. Plus the time it took to get them all rugged up and outside then inside and warmed up was a great time filler. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KikaKika View Post

Sounds like a perfectly happy childhood to me :) (that would be a cool photo blog or a 365 project)

You know what works best for your child :)

Have you seen documentary Babies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vupEpNjCuY  ?

Imagine these mothers and what went through their mind when they watched other babies' footage. :)

 

 I wish my 14 month-old had more free-range play in some clean dirt, but, unfortunately, where we live it's far from it. She loves being in nature, and I adore the way she observes leaves, grass, insects - it is just amazing. It's sad that we are only ones outside in the grass area (or even the kid's playground) now that it's winter time. Everyone else is inside, in a stuffy playroom.

 

:)

post #5 of 31

*applause*

Yay for free-ranging! It also bothers me when I see people at the park telling their toddlers or babies not to touch that "it's yucky," when it comes to dirt or the bark they use now instead of sand (I guess because of the giant kitty litter box scare?) Meanwhille, my kid eats dirt all the time. We always go outsideand splash in puddles after it rains, even though most of the puddles are in the parking lot of our apartment building...and tend to be really greasy. Granted, he does have rain boots and a rain coat, so it's not like he's in the water himself, but he does touch it with his hands a lot.

As they say, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger :)

post #6 of 31

don't worry, there are non-free rangers out there that also love dirt.

 

i mean, i would hardly call myself "free-range." dd does play alot independently but i'm kind of a stickler for respect of others' space and possessions and whatnot...including ours. at 15 months that really hasn't come up yet but when the nutso nieces and nephews come over...there's no jumping on the furniture (unless they want to go upstairs on the bunkbeds) and i don't tolerate 5 year-olds riding around the house on a baby toy.

 

that said though. i do know that one of the reasons (or so i've heard) for poorer disease resistance is loss of contact with the dirt. we're just not diggin around in there planting crops like we used to, yk? so yeah, you'll never see me using hand-sanitizer, the 5 second rule for food is more like the 5 YEAR rule, and honestly, i haven't washed her hands except after playing in the toilet and that's only because it isn't so clean. she can play with all the nature she wants. the more the better actually. i've always been yucked out by certain textures like sand etc... so i'm all the more proud when she digs in. although i don;t make more of an effort to have consistant outdoor time because i'm a big wimp and it's 10 degrees here, i love it....in theory!

 

you go! puddles will be fun for our first spring as a toddler!

post #7 of 31

p.s. i think babies in bikinis is way weirder than nude babies. creepy!

post #8 of 31

Hmm I guess we're somewhere in between. I certainly wouldn't mind if DS wanted to go play in the mud but he has absolutely no inclination to do so. I can't imagine him wandering down the street alone, he's way too clingy to contemplate that! But he plays in the sand & he loves the woodchips at the playground! Trash & butts & used gum are off-limits though. We have gone to the zoo in the pouring rain (one of the best days we ever had together!) but unless we have a distraction (the animals), neither of us particularly wants to get soaked & it's winter now. I am not comfortable with him being naked in public (nor is he) & we keep diapers on in the house because I don't have time to clean pee off the floors all day. We aren't sticklers about clean hands, in fact I don't think it ever occurred to me that he should wash his hands before eating -- we wash after using the bathroom or when otherwise dirty from paint or dirt or whatever. I hate seeing him sick but I feel it's good for his immune system so we don't cancel playdates if someone has a little cold or something. He does eat food off the floor sometimes, half the time I'm the one handing it back to him. I am pretty permissive with what I let him do (though admittedly there are a few things that drive me bonkers for no good reason!) and when we have visitors they seem to always be telling him 'no' and I don't really get it. However, I am TERRIFIED of heights so I have a lot of trouble letting him do things up high (i.e. tall playgrounds) without shadowing him closely. I guess I generally aim for 'free-range' but I don't always succeed & he doesn't always want it.

post #9 of 31

We are in between, because we live in the city in an apartment complex.  We have to respect other tenants in regard to noise levels and total nudity outside.  However, if we were in the country I'm sure "free-ranging" is what we would do ;)

We are fine with indoor nudity, and outside I make sure DD2 has on at least a diaper and DD1 has to wear a shirt and panties at minimum.  Floor food is always fair game, mud is the best, we live for puddles, ect.  And as far as other people's stuff goes, they don't seem to destroy things or anything, and I think that has a lot to do with all of the creative and "yucky" things we let them do at home and at the park.  Kids will be kids somewhere, and I would prefer it to be outside in the mud or rain, or wood chips, than inside with things that aren't meant for that kind of play.  They don't destroy our stuff either, but we have also kept our "nice stuff" to a minimum (as in we don't have a couch because we KNOW how yucky that would get, lol).

post #10 of 31

 

Quote:
I can't imagine him wandering down the street alone, he's way too clingy to contemplate that!

lol, free ranging at the toddler age has nothing to do with wandering the street alone. It's more to do with less hovering over them constantly and saying "be careful!" or "don't eat that, that's yucky!" or "don't touch that, that's yucky."(uless of course these things really are yucky, like say road kill)

 

 

Quote:
i'm kind of a stickler for respect of others' space and possessions and whatnot...including ours

yea it also has nothing to do with allowing wanton destruction of property! Some people might interpret it that way, but that's up to them. I still expect my son to behave when he's at other people's houses and treat their things and his things with respect. And we only allow jumping on the bed, but mainly because he loves to jump right now and he can't jump around on the floor since we live on the third floor. So when ever he's running around jumping, I tell him if he wants to jump, he has to do it on the bed. That doesn't bother the neighbors below us :P. Don't think of free-ranging as no restrictions, it's more like the opposite of helicopter parenting and allowing kids more freedom as they're developmentally ready to handle it.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

 

Quote:
I can't imagine him wandering down the street alone, he's way too clingy to contemplate that!

lol, free ranging at the toddler age has nothing to do with wandering the street alone. It's more to do with less hovering over them constantly and saying "be careful!" or "don't eat that, that's yucky!" or "don't touch that, that's yucky."(uless of course these things really are yucky, like say road kill)

 

 

Quote:
i'm kind of a stickler for respect of others' space and possessions and whatnot...including ours

yea it also has nothing to do with allowing wanton destruction of property! Some people might interpret it that way, but that's up to them. I still expect my son to behave when he's at other people's houses and treat their things and his things with respect. And we only allow jumping on the bed, but mainly because he loves to jump right now and he can't jump around on the floor since we live on the third floor. So when ever he's running around jumping, I tell him if he wants to jump, he has to do it on the bed. That doesn't bother the neighbors below us :P. Don't think of free-ranging as no restrictions, it's more like the opposite of helicopter parenting and allowing kids more freedom as they're developmentally ready to handle it.


oh...than maybe i AM free-range! awesome!

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

lol, free ranging at the toddler age has nothing to do with wandering the street alone. It's more to do with less hovering over them constantly and saying "be careful!" or "don't eat that, that's yucky!" or "don't touch that, that's yucky."(uless of course these things really are yucky, like say road kill)

Oh lol. OK maybe we're more free-range than I thought!!! He can definitely touch things, I just don't like him touching cigarette butts (or roadkill). I don't think I hover over him EXCEPT at the playground because he has tried to walk right off the high ledges a few times (plus my aforementioned fear of heights!) but most of the time I am trying to convince other people that he's perfectly fine/safe doing whatever it is he happens to be doing. But there's always a small part of me that struggles with not interfering in some situations because I am a bit... OCD I guess... I see danger & grossness in everything... and I have to mentally squash my reactions so they don't affect him. So I guess sometimes I'm just as much convincing myself when I'm convincing others!!

post #13 of 31

childhood is muddy and bloody if you do it right

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

lol, free ranging at the toddler age has nothing to do with wandering the street alone. It's more to do with less hovering over them constantly and saying "be careful!" or "don't eat that, that's yucky!" or "don't touch that, that's yucky."(uless of course these things really are yucky, like say road kill)

Oh lol. OK maybe we're more free-range than I thought!!! He can definitely touch things, I just don't like him touching cigarette butts (or roadkill). I don't think I hover over him EXCEPT at the playground because he has tried to walk right off the high ledges a few times (plus my aforementioned fear of heights!) but most of the time I am trying to convince other people that he's perfectly fine/safe doing whatever it is he happens to be doing. But there's always a small part of me that struggles with not interfering in some situations because I am a bit... OCD I guess... I see danger & grossness in everything... and I have to mentally squash my reactions so they don't affect him. So I guess sometimes I'm just as much convincing myself when I'm convincing others!!



Lol, yea I watch him when he's on high ledges, too. He loves to walk on these retaining walls and since he does sometimes still slip, one of us has to be next to him to catch him when he does. He also likes to climb ont his curved ladder thing up to a slide on the bigger kid equipment. He's been doing it for ages and does it pretty well, but there are still times when he gets stuck or almost falls and needs someone there to catch him, so we do "hover" by him when he climbs on that. The difference is that we LET him climb on it and walk on the walls instead of telling him that it's too dangerous and he's too small and should just play on the toddler equipment. Once he's bigger and the fall isn't such a hazard for him and he doesn't need our occasional assistance, then we'll go away :)

post #15 of 31

There are less people who free range their kids because there are more people who listen to supposed "experts" about things children should or shouldn't do.  Plus, I think that too many people are having kids as a fashionable accessory that they can drop off at daycare when they don't want to use it.  At most daycares free range kids just isn't practical (partially because of lawsuits and safety) and so more children are being raised with daycare rules.  For quite a while my son got nearly as many calories from solids from the floor as he did from a plate.  It didn't bother me and it meant I didn't have to pull out the broom every 2 hours. 

 

It seems to me that people are more afraid of germs from dirt than they are about germs from other people, which is why it seems to be totally acceptable to needlessly expose other people to the cold/flu/etc. that you are carrying because you want to be out and about.  But that is a separate issue, I don't want to derail your rant winky.gif

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpuglyRoo View Post
.  At most daycares free range kids just isn't practical (partially because of lawsuits and safety) and so more children are being raised with daycare rules.  For quite a while my son got nearly as many calories from solids from the floor as he did from a plate.  It didn't bother me and it meant I didn't have to pull out the broom every 2 hours. 

 

 


i work with 20-24 month olds at a preschool and i guess i pretty much free-range them. my co-teacher and i try to create the most home-like atmosphere that we can so i guess really the only thing i do differently is that i actually wash their hands after diapering.

we do have a kid in the class who will literally army crawl under the table after meal-times looking for dropped food. so while i don't encourage it per se....if it happens while we're busy with other kids and whatnot then hey....less for me to sweep up, right?

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpuglyRoo View Post

There are less people who free range their kids because there are more people who listen to supposed "experts" about things children should or shouldn't do.  Plus, I think that too many people are having kids as a fashionable accessory that they can drop off at daycare when they don't want to use it.  At most daycares free range kids just isn't practical (partially because of lawsuits and safety) and so more children are being raised with daycare rules.  For quite a while my son got nearly as many calories from solids from the floor as he did from a plate.  It didn't bother me and it meant I didn't have to pull out the broom every 2 hours. 

 

It seems to me that people are more afraid of germs from dirt than they are about germs from other people, which is why it seems to be totally acceptable to needlessly expose other people to the cold/flu/etc. that you are carrying because you want to be out and about.  But that is a separate issue, I don't want to derail your rant winky.gif

ROTFLMAO.gifYeah what is it with people taking sick kids out to swap snot?? What about giving them a day or two off the world to let their body fight the infection and bounce back instead of pumping some pharmaceauticals into them and continuing life as usual?
 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jellybeanmumma View Post
ROTFLMAO.gifYeah what is it with people taking sick kids out to swap snot?? What about giving them a day or two off the world to let their body fight the infection and bounce back instead of pumping some pharmaceauticals into them and continuing life as usual?

 


I dunno... a few moms I know are soooo relaxed about swapping spit and snot (kind of under the name of "free range" and "we're relaxed" and "we don't fear germs") and I have to admit, I'm not into the sharing sippy cup thing.  I try to intercept it before it happens most of the time.  But a lot of moms I know totally encourage it.  shrug.gif  My mom used to get on my case about never sharing drinks.  She grew up in the age of tuberculosis, but I don't have to be worried about TB, or squeamish, or a germaphobe to not want your kid drinking out of my kid's sippy cup.  I just don't want to get the stomach flu, thanks.

 

As for dirt... if it's country dirt, DD can eat it by the handful for all I care.  At the city park?  Hell no, that dirt's contaminated.  The park is probably on top of landfill.  We wash our hands, baby.  I used to feel bad having to tell her that, but I realized it was less bad than how I'd feel if she got lead poisoning.

 

One time my mom sent a picture of little naked me as toddler to her MIL who wrote back, "WHY DID YOU SEND ME CHILD PORN?" 

 

I noticed a lot of people tell toddler girls not to lift their shirts up.  This is confusing to me.  I know that in some family cultures they believe it's modest.  But to me, there is nothing to see....   Well, everyone is different.

post #19 of 31

I raised my daughter like that.  She's 18 and fine.  Not very healthy, but otherwise, she's fine.

 

I did stop her at drinking pee water, or even bathing in pee water, or drinking out of random cups.  I have an aversion to those things, so I made sure I stopped my child from that kind of thing.

 

But, we have MAYBE ten pictures of her from 12 months to five years, where she's actually dressed.  Usually she's wearing a Halloween costume.  

 

Looking back, if I could do it over, I'd have kept her out of the Mcdonald's playland type places, and not let her have a pacifier so much.  Other than those two things, I think her childhood was wonderful.

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post


I dunno... a few moms I know are soooo relaxed about swapping spit and snot (kind of under the name of "free range" and "we're relaxed" and "we don't fear germs") and I have to admit, I'm not into the sharing sippy cup thing.  I try to intercept it before it happens most of the time.  But a lot of moms I know totally encourage it.  shrug.gif  My mom used to get on my case about never sharing drinks.  She grew up in the age of tuberculosis, but I don't have to be worried about TB, or squeamish, or a germaphobe to not want your kid drinking out of my kid's sippy cup.  I just don't want to get the stomach flu, thanks.

I don't know, I don't want DS to be sick but I don't really feel that it's that big a deal -- I guess I figure it's kind of good for his immune system, especially since he's not regularly exposed to much since he's not in daycare or anything. Plus he's mostly sharing cups/food/etc. with close friends so he'd be exposed to their germs anyway just by being in frequent, close proximity with them (I wouldn't let him share cups with a stranger...) Just sharing the other perspective :)

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