Wild Child

Wild Child

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      Growing up I had the awesome opportunity to pursue living wild and this was thanks to my parents. I didn’t get “wet nursed” over every detail of my life. When scary or uncomfortable things happened as a result of my own choices, for the most part I was left to navigate those scenarios myself. This taught me early on to choose self-reliance which in turn taught me a lot about faith and character.

     Just to be clear of course, I’m not talking about neglectful or tragic scenarios. I love my parents and they protected me from what they could of this sinful world. The type of “wild” that they let me endure was often in the form of freedom to choose my own path day to day. Decisions like exploring in the woods to find wild raspberries, ride our horses bareback whenever I wanted or going hunting and fishing as soon as I could walk. With every freedom came responsibility. I could explore all I wanted but if I snuck off to do these things before chores, homework or before gaining permission then I was held accountable! I give kudos to my parents while reflecting on this last aspect because holding your child accountable, I am learning is not easy in the slightest!


     When you give your children the tools of Faith, Love and Independence and the opportunity to test those tools, they become confident and self-assured individuals. This will serve them well in the future but often creates the opportunity for hard hardheadedness to flourish. This will also serve them well and should not be snuffed out but can be a struggle to manage for sure!

     I was that hard headed kid and now I have two of my own. Britt and I are raising them with the opportunity to be challenged young, in whatever we can. I came home from work one time to find Hallie my daughter standing at the top of her slide in her little fort with her brother and they both had helmets on. I could see that they had dragged Olivers balance bike up to the top with them. I looked at Britt and told her that I’d get out there to see what they were thinking. She said they had been doing it all day. I laughed and turned just in time to see Hallie fly down the steep slide atop Olivers bike, only to crash at the bottom. Immediately both children burst out in laughter uncontrollably! They took turns doing that until dinner. Britt and I set up chairs outside to cheer them on the rest of the time.


      Britt would often say “it’s better to let them do sketchy things with us here to support and guide them, than for them to try it without a parent there, to keep them from going too far”. I agree with her, I have done plenty of sketchy and crazy things in my life and know very well that there is a right way and a wrong to do even sketchy things. Whether it’s truly adventurous or as simple as just having your kids order their own food at a restaurant, it’s important to let our children have opportunities to test their own metal.  This allows our kids to build character and to grow up capable and self-reliant. Give your children the opportunity to live life with wild faith and to be a wild child!

Proverbs 22:6 NIV “Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”


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