I hope all of you have thought more about homesteading. I kept the first post short and unfocused for a reason. The decision to remove one’s family from the addictions of society is huge. Just to remove video games and/or television likely will create a family crisis. I know a family whose son attempted to run away from home when he was told his Xbox would be taken away for a month. Another family’s daughter threatened suicide and tried to jump out of a moving vehicle when her cell phone was taken. These and many more stories reflect the influence of technology on children and young people. It should cause us to be very, very concerned.
I will continue to state that electronics be removed from one’s home regardless of lifestyle. If one chooses the simpler choice to homestead, there is reason to make it happen even sooner. We cannot work hard to garden, raise livestock, prepare for winter, keep our home clean and organized, raise children and all the other work that goes into a self-sustainable lifestyle while spending hours in front of a screen. These things steal the minds and life of our kids and indeed our own. Being entertained instead of keeping busy is a copout.
Another small step to becoming more independent is water retention. Water truly is life and we will quickly die without it. Rain barrels placed beneath gutters is a simple way to start. This water can be filtered and used for drinking and cooking or to water a garden and animals. It is fun to see children get excited about such a foundational issue as water. Scour resale stores, flea markets and yard sales to find some barrels. Also five gallon buckets will be needed to carry water to the garden or wherever. These can be purchased for only a few dollars or for free by asking at restaurants and other places.
When we give our children these back to basic physical things to do, their brains develop differently than when simply being entertained by television or video games. Other people invented those things, the shows and games are the product of another’s intelligence. Our kids have their own gifts and we, as parents, are responsible to see they develop them. Another benefit is that our kids will become more fit physically. As they work in the yard raking leaves, mowing or just picking up sticks, they get the exercise that most Americans are missing. Building muscle as fat deposits are burned off, gives one more energy and common afflictions decrease. Diabetes is better controlled or even eliminated by losing weight and exercising.
There are many, many benefits to living a more self-reliant lifestyle. One does not have to pull up stakes and go off to liv in a tent in the woods. My goal is to help people see that relationships are strengthened when we spend time together in worthwhile pursuits. I have always detested the term “quality time” because it suggests other, non-quality, time is acceptable. It is not. All time spent with our Recycled Kids must be quality even when we are laying games, preserving food, chasing a chicken or whatever.
Another huge benefit is that kids will eat what they have grown. We were at a meeting just last evening where a local teacher handmade authentic eggrolls. Literally half the children refused to even taste them. One had never had eggrolls but declared she did not like them. I was appalled. For years, I have seen kids refuse most foods. They have been spoiled to eat only processed and fast foods. These same little ones probably would eat the tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, etc. that their own little hands heled grow if given the opportunity.
Seriously readers, when I was a child, it never occurred to us to refuse the food that was put before us. We just ate what Mama prepared. My own child and Recycled Boy do also. Sure, there are a few foods we are not crazy about and that is natural. This phenomenon of kids dictating food purchases and meal planning is out of control. Back to basics on the homestead can curb this and allow parents to once again run the home. Rant over!
Safety is yet another benefit of turning off or severely limiting television, internet, social media, etc. In or own area, an eleven year old girl, a fourth grader accidentally got on an inappropriate website. She was playing a game when a link popped up; she clicked on it and found herself on a pornography site. The perverts there immediately pounced on her and eventually convinced the girl to disrobe in front of the video camera on her laptop. They of course captured screenshots and now her nude image is forever out there on the internet for pedophiles to stare at and imagine perversions. This sort of thing can happen to your child, to my child. Kids are naïve and easily manipulated. We must protect them in ways that were not even imaginable when we were young.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Think of ways to protect your Recycled Kids and also to get them involved in a hands on way of life. They will thank you for it one day. I keep telling myself that (insert laugh here). Seriously though, they really will. Get your thinking cap on. Plan your future and lay one more brick in the foundation of life for your children. We will be ridiculed for being different, for pulling out of the rat race. The strong, confident, healthy child we raise into adulthood will thank us though so persevere on to victory! We can do this. We are Recycled Moms and are strong and courageous!