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Where are the wild children? Rewilding childhood.

Humans spend so much time fighting for threatened species without realising that WE are a threatened species. How many wilder humans are there left out there? Where are the wild children?

As the mother of a child whom we are actively rewilding I sometimes feel the dissonance between our home culture and the wider culture. The comments when she's topless and barefoot in the woods, the looks when she shouts as loud as she can and we don't try to silence her roar, the shouts of 'careful' from well meaning adults as she scales the highest parts of the playground unassisted, the pressure to call her back to me as she the wanders about the cafe introducing herself and chatting to everyone.

She's loud, she's loves to shout, she loves to say no, she loves clothes for their colours but isn't that bothered about wearing them, she wants to be outdoors dawn to dusk, she wants to be barefoot in the mud, she loves to dance naked in the rain and eat hail, she likes to wild wee and wild poo, she likes, in her words, 'hot and cold' and refuses to get warm after a bath or wear a coat in the winter, she wants to walk for 3 plus hours a day, she has huge and very physical meltdowns in public, she climbs on the tables and counters and simply won't sit still and be quiet in public on demand. She's not an unusual kid. She's just been allowed to continue being a kid in a culture that isn't very comfortable with kids.

I have spent years untaming myself and trying to be congruent after years of people pleasing and making myself small and I have no intention of taming my daughter to make adults more comfortable. So I question myself whenever I feel as though I need to reign something in. Sometimes it's a legitimate need for safety or another established and important boundary, sometimes it's what Akilah Richards refers to as the 'adult gaze' making me want to contain or change her and I strive never to let that be my motivator.

Our children are so beautifully wild until we begin taming them and shaping them to our culture's expectations. As more children are moulded to the expectations of domesticated adults, we lose the model of children in their natural state.

For example, I've recently discovered that just 27% of children play outdoors!!! Perhaps it's because I live in a small space but I simply cannot imagine being indoors with Dolores for longer than a couple of hours at most. We'd both be climbing the walls?! Whilst also understanding that certain lifestyles and pressures could easily mean children get limited outdoors time. I just can't help but feel heartbroken for those children.

Nature isn't just a place for us to go to feel better. Nature is our home. We are nature. And our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the natural world. Over time we've gradually moved further and further away from nature, so much so that many of us don't even know how to feel the wild wellness of our ancestors...

Excerpt from Patreon exclusive blog article: 'Fish out of water suffocating from the lack of our natural habitats'

The whole article is available to read for all tiers on my Patreon page. Premenstrually I'm much less able to link the threads of my thoughts and I usually try to cover that up with multiple edits and a whole heap of stress but I'm trying more and more to notice the masks I wear and to take them off :) so on the full post you’ll find a (avoids using the word rambly) nice long meandering piece on wildness.

little girl sat on a tree stump in the woods
Dolores in the woods

Photo: @primalembrace // Lisa Chapman 2024


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