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Kids will be kids

26/05/2011

Kids will be kids.

This is a statement I have used numerous times to associate what my children have done. Typically when they have done something wrong, broken something or otherwise gone against the grain.

But, when do we actually let kids be kids?

I have three beautiful girls ranging from 2 to 12 years old. When my first daughter was born we were very fearful of germs, bacteria and just general dirtiness. What parent doesn’t think of these things, right? Everything needed to be cleaned or sanitized.

This was before the “Purell” movement. So we didn’t have access to the instant hand sanitizers or the clean wipes like today’s parents. You had to get down there and clean with a sponge! We kept our kids out of the sun and fully booted so as not to come into contact with the filthy ground.

I was reminded last week of our and every other parent’s alarmingly futile attempt at sterile cleanliness, by a post of the wonderful site The Primal Parent.

A Dirty Kid is a Happy Kid! Why Everyone Should Play in the Dirt

Evelyn returns from preschool, clothes covered in dirt; from her grandma’s house stained from head to toe; from an outing with a friend, hands so dirty she could write her name with the grime on her fingernails. Apologies ensue. “I’m sorry she got so dirty.” or “I would have washed her if I’d had the time.” or “She sat down right in the dirt before I could stop her.”

And always I reply, “A dirty kid is a happy kid! PLEASE don’t apologize.”

Let kids get dirty and, if you can suppress your vanity for a moment, get dirty with them! Some of the most beneficial bacteria is found right on the bottom of your feet, so go ahead, get some grit and grime between those toes!

The whole post is a great write up on the benefits right below our feet. The essential bacteria that has made up our lives for the better part of a millennia! Maybe even a few!

So, we as parents try to do that most for our kids. Like our dietary health, we follow the guidelines given to us by our “leaders”. We follow their recommendations, pyramids and commercials. Yet, we still get sick, and wonder why?

So, the same funnel of deception continues for our general health. We follow our immunization guidelines. We treat our homes with sterilizing chemicals. We douse ourselves with anti-fungal cream, anti-bacteria body wash and anything else we are told to do by the over commercialize government.

So why are we still getting sick?

From allergies to asthma, colds to flu’s. There has to be a greater reason for the general health of the world. I know in the Midwest, we don’t tend to be too fearful of the Ebola virus, flesh eating bacteria, staph (even though it is prevalent on our bodies this very second!) infections and the like. So why does everything need to be sterilized?

Why do we need flu vaccinations, allergy tablets and asthma inhalers?

It still bothers me to think of all of the people around me that suffer from the benign misfortunes of a poor diet and health.

As a side note, one of the wonderful side effects from going primal is, you guessed it…decreased illnesses!

Spend 10 minutes searching “Google” for an illness and you will find the typical WebMD sites that advocate “a pill for this” ailment. Try doing a search for asthma and gluten sensitivity?

Now, repeat this string with any number of other ailments. Metabolic syndrome, Autism, Diabetes. The list could and does go on.

I for one spent years doing my own research into my metabolic syndrome. For me it was either a fiber pill a day or change my diet by eliminating grains.

GASP! If I can fix my health through diet, what else can “I” do?

So, if allergies, asthma and the like, are accelerated from environmental sources? Why am I shielding my family from this environment? This is the “fiber pill” for my metabolic syndrome scenario. I am treating a symptom not the cause. Like an antacid to solve GERD.

So, we treat the cause not the symptom? So what’s the cause?

What is the cause of our miss-alignment of thought on germs, bacteria and filth? There is no misconception that bacteria cause illness. There is no misconception that bacteria could and is bad for you.

But, there is also no misconception that bacteria is good for you, needed in you and is very tasty! From the Primal Parent article we know that bacteria is beneficial to our bodies. We know that a healthy gut is a happy gut. This is due to a healthy amount of good bacteria “INSIDE” our bodies (gut flora). And I think we all know bacteria is very tasty! (Yogurt, cheeses, etc…)

So why do we have a stigma from being dirty?

It’s another “24 hour news has changed our lives” type of problem? We are inundated with constant affirmations of the filth in our lives. Tainted food supplies, outbreaks, famine, disease proliferation. I for one cannot pinpoint a time in my life when things became dirty or germ filled. We as a society have changed our beliefs.

I know a lot of people that cannot fathom going barefoot. People that cannot handle their kids getting dirty, bacteria aside, just the thought of dirty clothes is enough to push them over the edge. Purell in hand, the 5 second rule, rubber gloves, chemicals, chemicals and more chemicals. Our society is struggling to reduce the harmful chemicals in our day to day life, in our food supply. But, we are more than happy to spray harmful chemicals all over our living spaces.

So, what’s the end result? Are we pushing our kids toward the things we want them NOT to do? If they can’t go out and get dirty and play, where else do they go? The couch, the TV, the video game?

Would it even be possible to allow our kids to play and climb trees without the thought of litigation?

God forbid they fall out of the neighbor’s tree, or the school yard play gym. Parents begin to see dollar signs!

So I think we see the end result? I hope this is as far as it goes. There is a movement coming, we can see it already with the help of MOVNAT creator Erwan Le Corre, Frank Forencich’s Exuberant Animal and a whole host of others dedicated to the return to play and natural movement. We have folks like the Primal Parent and brigades of thoughtful parents that are devoted to bringing back play and filth into our lives.

Keep in mind though it goes beyond filth and bacteria. This is health. 80% of our makeup is derived from what we eat. What makes up the other 20%? Fitness, gym memberships, protein shakes?

PLAY!

Play is how we were raised and it is how we raise our kids. Keep this in mind when they come home covered in filth, new holes in pants, dirt in places that don’t even see the light of day! Like the Primal Parent says, go out and enjoy the filth with them, because it’s not only kids that are happy with play and dirt.

Go out and find that mud hole.

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