I wanted to live sustainably because it was what I knew to be right. I want to care for our earth and feed my children healthy food. I didn't think about the side benefit of my children being raised in an environment slightly different to many children. I am seeing resilient behaviours in my kids of which I am very proud.
Belle, at the age of nine, embraces the principle of 'Produce No Waste'. She loves buying second hand clothes at op-shops. In fact recently when I bought her new clothing for an upcoming camp, she told me she needed one more jumper, "But it doesn't need to be new." Her appreciation of second hand items is wonderful to see. My children rarely ask me to buy things because they are used to our way of living.
Belle wastes nothing and often thinks outside the square. The other day I was hanging clothes on the line and I saw a modification she had made to a favourite pair of pyjama pants. Obviously the elastic had gone in them but she didn't bring them to me for repair. Without even mentioning her problem, she solved it herself. She tightened them with a hair tie!!! I love it.
We have a television but don't use it unless there is something special on TV. Recently I told Belle there would be another child coming to our school who didn't watch telly and that would make it feel more 'normal' for her, she answered with a smile, "We are normal, it's the others that aren't!" I love her attitude.
Many people would call me a helicopter parent (always hovering) and to a degree they would be right. I always know where my children are and what they are doing. But I don't want to stop them becoming capable. I don't do everything for them, I just make sure they are supervised while learning things that could lead to harm. Belle received a pocket knife at the age of eight and is proud that she can light a fire without even using newspaper. She gathers the right sort of tinder and gets the fire going.
|This knife is a Opinel. It is sharp but has a child safe rounded end. Much safer if they trip while using it!|
Pumpkin is my garden girl. She is five years old and is fascinated by how things work. She asks more questions than I have answers for. She begins school next year and I hope the teacher is prepared! A few months ago she came to me with a seed from the apple she was eating and asked to plant it. We did and she is delighted with the result.
At lunch with a friend of mine she was discussing, in her own unique way, things that make you feel sad . "If somebody stole all your money you would be sad. But if you had some fruit seeds it would be okay because you would still have fruit!" Yay! She thinks in terms of seeds, not supermarkets.
She also begged me to allow her to knead our bread. I let her, and discovered that she is more than capable! She listened well and can now knead the sour dough to completion.
Pumpkin loves to shop at the farmer's markets with me. At the last market we fell in love with this homespun beanie. I explained to her that, because it was not chemically treated, if she was not wearing it, she needed to keep it in a plastic bag or the moths would eat it. Whenever she takes it off she searches for a bag but twice now I have found her in bed wearing her beanie. The little sweetie couldn't find a bag so she kept it on her head to protect it! LOL
Buddy Boy prefers to emulate his father. He collects wood and, at the moment, is right into raking. He wants to rake in the morning before school and as soon as he gets home again. He rakes the leaves, puts them in his barrow and tells me they are for my garden. At six he knows the importance of mulching.
These little jars are his favourite thing to play with at the moment. He counts with them, stacks them and pretends they are characters and chatters away while playing with them. I love it when kids can use their imaginations and play with things other than bought toys!
I love the understanding which my children have learned as a matter of course, about the connection with nature and life. They expect to be capable and self reliant, they learn by observation and want to do 'real tasks', adult tasks connected with day to day living.
I am impressed by my little second generation permies because while we think of it as the way we are trying to live life, to them it just IS life!
Do you have or know kids that impress you? What skills or attitudes do you think we should teach our kids?